In this day and age when celebrities are earning tens of millions per year, many people surely wonder why reality stars such as Kim Kardashian and Snooki are on the Forbes 2015 list of best-paid celebrities. What have they done to earn so much? Unlike musicians and actors who bring a great voice or acting skills to the table, the “talent” of reality TV stars doesn’t seem to correlate to the amount of money they earn.
Yet, they are rocking it. And the tactics they have employed to become famous are very similar to the strategies companies should implement to become successful.
Like reality stars, the success of a company sometimes has little correlation to the quality of their product or service. Some companies have amazing products that never get lift-off, while other companies have average offerings that enjoy huge adoption.
So, what can companies learn from reality TV stars in order to achieve business success?
The concept is simple. Reality stars embrace fame. They actively pursue it. They foster it. They know that by having their names out there, the money will follow.
This applies to businesses, too. When a prospect recognizes a company’s name—and even better, when a prospect has seen the company cited favorably in the press—they are far more inclined to be receptive to what that company has to offer. After all, this company has made it, in the eyes of the prospect.
But for most companies in our industry, achieving name recognition is a huge stumbling block, one that negatively impacts their sales staffs and opportunities to generate new business. If a prospect has never heard of a company or is not sure what it does, the process of converting them to a client can be an uphill battle.
A well-executed public relations (PR) campaign is a game-changer for companies. A company can go from relative obscurity to being perceived as a recognized leader in its field in surprisingly little time. In fact, it can happen in a matter of months.
PR changes the playing field for sales people. Suddenly prospects are more plentiful and deals close more quickly.
Why, you ask?
I wrote a blog on this topic about three years ago, explaining why public relations works so well in helping companies grow. Here is what I cited:
1. PR Provides Social Proof
PR increases a company’s visibility, which provides social proof, a powerful type of validation. It creates a “herd effect,” the phenomenon that compels people to work with companies they perceive as well known and accepted, rather than those that deviate from the norm.
2. PR Creates Likeability
PR goes beyond social proof. It actually makes individuals like a company more. When your company is showcased in an article or discussed favorably by your peers, or when your company’s product wins an award, it instantly becomes more likeable to prospective clients, vendors and employees.
3. PR Generates New Business
Studies have shown that it requires numerous instances of seeing a company’s name or its marketing to effectively attract the attention of a prospect. Each time your photo appears on the cover of a magazine, your company is profiled in a feature story, your CEO speaks at a conference, or your executives are quoted in the media, you are expanding your base of prospects and creating the repeated exposure you need to convert prospects into customers. PR tilts the playing field in your favor, creating a huge competitive advantage.
4. PR Creates Favorable Reputations
Reputation can make or break a company. If a company is continually receiving positive press coverage, prospects perceive that it must be doing well. On the other hand, when a company goes quiet or negative news is published, rumors about its future can emerge and prove very detrimental.
5. PR is Cost-Effective
When compared to other marketing methods, PR usually emerges as a highly cost-effective way to grow a business. Great PR can build a company’s prospect base and make it easier to convert leads.
How do you generate a lot of publicity so that your company can reach Kim Kardashian-like levels of success? It takes ongoing, proactive media outreach, combined with the right connections in the press and knowing how to communicate with them. Or, it takes hiring a public relations agency that specializes in the industry—which is the most surefire method.
Great PR can be a game-changer for companies looking to grow. If you’d like to quickly witness the power of PR on the success of your business, reach out to us at Info@StrategicVantage.com.
By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage