We recently had a meeting with a group of budding financial technology (Fintech) entrepreneurs who were helping us understand their perspective in today’s fast changing business environment. New technology has revolutionized many aspects of life and the traditional financial world for instance, has not been spared. Banks are quickly warming up to Fintech innovations which have simplified several aspects of their operations.
This is because the rapid pace of innovation is also paving the way for greater competition as innovators continue to create solutions and make things much easier than before. Now back to my FinTech friend. He struggled to explain to us that he does not need public relations services, because his enterprise is a Business-to-Business (B2B) model. As such, there is no need for him to worry about how his business is perceived by the public.
Today at its peak with several top industry clients, my fintech friend believes he does not need PR, because he does not see his strategy changing to a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) model anytime soon.
However, he does have plans of scaling up and venturing into other markets, which might require access to more finance. Enter public relations!
He needs PR services, if not for anything more, but to help him handle the company’s public affairs. He also needs to build a believable business profile which a discernable investor can look through before risking their money. For those who have aspirations of expanding and growing their businesses, PR must feature as a vital element of normal operations.
The advent of social media has changed the way things are done today. To illustrate this further, customer service and feedback has migrated from offices to online. Your client is a tweet away from sharing he’s experience of your business, or complaining about a dysfunctional feature. Just a matter of minutes! However much one may consider their firm as a B2B business model, there is still an aspect of the consumer somewhere which might require your urgent attention. This is a headache best suited for a PR company which has the expertise and other know-how necessary to ease your concerns.
This is so because PR will help to create and promote goodwill and communication between the business and the public and today professionals use more than the traditional press release. Many businesses are opting for social media platforms like Facebook and twitter which command a huge audience as opposed to the traditional media. They now frequently use social media outlets to convey their message to the public. Social media is changing the PR industry as it allows businesses to communicate with a larger community.
There is something else that has to be clarified. PR is not just for large corporations—even a small business can benefit from good public relations. To have good public relations does not mean you need to hire an expensive high-profile PR firm.
First develop a plan and think about your target audience. This includes more than just customers. Additional members of your audience may be the local media or employees. Use these additional resources to communicate your message. Most businesses have a tendency to shy away from media, yet this can be an important way to communicate and reach a larger audience. Human beings by our very nature are experiential and bandwagon driven, so by hearing positive information from a third party, consumers are more likely to relate to your business.
Even employees sharing good aspects about their ogranisation will help to impact a feel-good factor beyond the office confines of the organisation. The lesson here is your internal communications are just as important as your external ones. Also, think about how your audience wants to communicate with your company and receive information. Your message must be timely and well thought out to impact your audience. A slight mishap in communication can lead to a crisis. In any crisis, PR can go a long way to show the public that you are open and honest. How you handle a crisis will determine how your business or brand is viewed in the aftermath.
As already stated, PR is more than writing a press release. There are now more ways than ever before to get you message across. Social media is changing the public relations industry as it allows businesses to communicate with a larger community. Instead of sending a message to just your local audience, businesses can now communicate globally.
At the same time as the scope of PR widens, professionals need to adapt and take advantage of new avenues to communicate with the public, and that is where you need a professional public relations agency.