About Time PR Is Treated As A Revenue Generator
By: Ho Paik San,
Associate Insights Director
Much has been said about marketing and sales being an important revenue generation engine. What we do not hear often is how public relations contribute to a company’s marketing and revenue generation efforts.
It is about time for PR to be recognised as a powerful revenue generator for a company. Although the success of a PR campaign generally takes longer time to happen, a carefully crafted PR strategy can bring about a larger revenue gain than a short-term marketing campaign.
What I am about to say next may upset some PR folks. Look away now if you are expecting PR to remain the same in the future.
In order for PR to be seen as a revenue generator, PR professionals need to own up to showing some form of ROI in helping a company generate revenue.
Oftentimes, PR professionals view their role as creating and raising brand awareness that lead to feel good emotion among the consumers. In contrast, marketing and sales professionals are bound by efforts that are measured by lead generation that results in sales.
Do not get me wrong. I am not saying PR should take over the sales function and save the world. While PR and marketing can sometimes be on the same team, they act like they are in a rivalry. It is crucial that both the functions are aligned. PR will need to become more strategic, adopt a value-driven content strategy, and be integrated into the overall marketing strategies. They need to work together, not next to one another.
Let’s talk about how leaders in PR and communications can change the narrative of their roles and start being taken seriously as part of a company’s important revenue generator.
Put data and measurement first
The very top of the marketing funnel starts with communications. PR professionals lay the groundwork for how the public perceives the company through a good story that is relevant to the target audience. What this means is that by the time a prospect moves down the funnel and starts to engage with the marketing or sales team, that prospect would have already been exposed and influenced by the work that the PR team has put out there.
As such, it is important for PR professionals to stay closely connected to the company’s business objectives and establish the key measurement metrics that are important to the senior leadership team. Track and connect the results back to direct or dotted line revenue.
Media intelligence companies like Isentia use various datasets to derive actionable insights to help PR practitioners understand the types of contents that gain traction. The insights are meant to inspire the next course of actions as they plan their content strategy accordingly.
Showcase your best work
While some PR people are great at what they do, at times, they are too modest to showcase their achievements to the C-suite.
For PR to be given the due recognition in its contribution towards a company’s revenue generation, communications leaders need to do an excellent job of putting the team forward by showcasing their work to their internal stakeholders.
However, the team will benefit by having a deeper understanding of the business, and be ready to discuss the performance metrics that matter the most to the management.
While we want to show senior leaders why they should be paying attention to the team, it is equally as important to take full responsibility for the team’s failures. Teaching accountability and adopting a “no-excuses” work culture are crucial. Once a task is assigned, the team should commit to doing it well.
Champion social causes and advocate for the employees
Accelerated by the pandemic, technology and digital adoption have brought the future forward. Consumers are becoming more socially aware and expect the companies that they deal with to behave in a similar manner.
PR professionals can help a company step up its corporate sustainability efforts through a series of initiatives that connect environmental, social, and governance (ESG) as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
ESG and DEI can contribute towards value creation in business as they help boost innovation, empathy and empower employees, especially those from marginalised communities.
When such PR campaigns take off, the positive impact from such efforts contribute to boosting employee morale and improving talent retention. This translates into improved workplace performance and stronger brand reputation, which ultimately lead to healthier revenue streams.
It’s time to change
PR practitioners need to reset their mindsets, stop living in an imaginary cocoon that brand building is a long-term exercise, and disconnect themselves from taking the accountability in contributing to company revenue generation.
The good news is, PR is already doing a good job at weaving stories and telling them to audiences. What needs to be done to change from good to great is making those stories so inspiring and relatable that they lead to the sweet sound of ka-ching from the cash register.