When a crisis hits, the PR team is generally among the first to know and often takes the lead in developing responses that go far beyond media relations. So why don’t organisations take the same approach to other major, business-critical areas?
Comms is often tagged on to the back of a marketing campaign, or turned to at the last minute to try to help drive interest in an initiative, but by bringing PR teams or agencies in earlier and at a much higher level, the results can be much better. It also means that the PR team has a much better picture of what the business is trying to achieve and can go about devising the best plan to garner interest.
Agency and in-house teams do their best work when they have access to the board and buy-in from senior management. We need access to sensitive information. Whether it’s the details of the latest product launch, or advance notice of a major senior appointment, we can add a lot of value at the decision-making stage to ensure that announcements, both positive and negative, have the best possible outcome. As comms people, having access to all the available resources will help us communicate the best possible messages.
These days, many products and services differentiate themselves by having innovation at the core, not tagged on at the end, and often a PR team is a great resource for planning and innovation. The PR team also has a great ear to the ground for market awareness and competitor tracking, helping businesses stand out in often crowded markets.