A recent Inc. Magazine article featured a fascinating article by the CEO of a young startup who asserted that the only line item in her marketing budget was for PR.  The story was notable because of its unabashed support for PR, or strategic communications, which is widely misunderstood and often overlooked or underutilized by numbers-driven business leaders who cannot finitely determine the return on investment (ROI) of every dollar put toward their PR efforts.

The author gave the following three reasons for choosing to invest in PR: PR builds brands, PR can generate awareness fast and PR isn’t just press anymore.

Brand-building is essential, especially for young companies. And brand building doesn’t (and shouldn’t) mean blanketing the airwaves with extensive T.V. ads that get the company name out into the world but rapidly deplete financial reserves. Public relations efforts can produce what is known as earned media, which refers to coverage by publications that choose to write about the brand not because they are paid to do so, but because the company or its product is interesting and the organization has a compelling story to tell.

In terms of generating awareness through PR, that has never been more true than today, and there is a direct correlation with the brand-building power of PR done right.  Thanks to the Internet’s connecting the people of the world like never before, and the explosion in usage of social media, it is now easier and fast than ever for individuals to connect with one another and to share their opinions on virtually every topic (and company) imaginable. When a company succeeds in getting its name inserted into a publication of any type through effective PR, then that story lives on in perpetuity online, and individuals and companies can share that article and its information with an exponential number of contacts.

The third argument given in favor of PR is that the term no longer refers to getting stories in print publications, on T.V. or the radio.  Modern-day P.R. is inextricably linked to the online world, where coverage can spread rapidly and be easily available to a limitless audience.  This reason is tied closely to both of the previous reasons why companies should be doing PR—it builds brands and generates awareness fast.  In effect, the advantages of PR done right overlap and reinforce each other, which is exactly what good PR should do, too.

At Red Banyan Group the notion of interconnected, strategic communication drives everything that we do for our clients. In fact, we are called the Red Banyan Group because we were inspired by the interwoven nature of the banyan tree’s trunk, which brings together various pieces to form a single structure that supports the entire tree.

That is the perfect metaphor for effective PR—utilizing an array of tools and outlets (various limbs) to give permanence and increased strength to an organization and its identity (the trunk).  To learn more about Red Banyan Group’s founder Evan Nierman, or the ways that we can help your organization, please visit our website.