The new wave of consumers changed the market as we know it today. These consumers force companies to become more proactive, try to keep up, or be left behind. Companies selling to these customers cut back on advertising over the last decade. As customers turn to social spaces to communicate, companies must reach out to them there.
Consumers engage with companies receiving feedback on questions affecting their buying decisions. They also want instant customer service when things go wrong. Smart companies take advantage of this by making use of the information they gain during interactions. But, to build this relationship, companies must do more than just talk to their consumers online. They must make a plan to attract customers, grow relationships and keep that interest. Companies also need to find ways to track and study these interactions, so they can make changes to improve.
This is where consumer PR becomes a valuable asset. Consumer PR professionals take steps to increase connections with customers. They do this by creating content attracting interaction and re-sharing. Re-sharing is free advertising for companies and a good sign of brand loyalty. Customers care about what they post online because it reflects on their personal interests and lifestyle.
Another valuable function of consumer PR means getting the word out to reliable third parties backing the brand. This could be a paid agreement, whereby the company sponsors a particular team or event. It could also be an unpaid agreement, where the PR agency uses their connections to give the brand an honorable mention or good reviews. Sometimes third parties even pay the company for the right to use their name, logo or product.
Events – whether large or small – are also good ways to introduce brands to the public. Consumer PR professionals sometimes refer to these events as stunts. They swear by their effectiveness to attract endorsements and positive reviews. PR firms can combine more than one client’s products into a single event if the brands complement each other. For instance, if a PR firm represents a client in food and another in household appliances, combining them is strategic. The appliances would cook meals prepared by ingredients from the other client. Each product increases the worth of the other, thereby making a sale more likely. This allows the PR to brand both products as an informal packaged deal.
But, Consumer PR does not only focus on engaging customers and increasing visibility. Consumer PR professionals must also act as a translator between what the company wants to say and what consumers want to hear. PR professionals must filter messages before sharing them; especially if the company made a mistake. In this case, the company needs to word its responses carefully fixing the problem rather than making it worse.
In short, Consumer PR becomes a company’s most valuable asset in today’s market. It offers exactly what a company needs to position them for success and help them weather the storms resulting from human errors.