3 Ways PR Can Positively Impact Society
The rise of stakeholder capitalism—a system that rewards corporations for practices that benefit not only consumers and shareholders but employees, the environment and society at large—has placed new expectations on organizations. Many are heavily relying on PR partners to help meet them.
When effectively executed, PR goes beyond generating positive press for a client. So-called “good PR” can promote economic growth and raise the profile of important causes while lifting the bar for corporate accountability. These three effects prove the power of a strong media relations strategy.
- Stimulates the economy
The U.S. is in the grips of a bear market. During times of economic hardship, companies are quick to axe PR departments as their services are falsely perceived as superfluous. However, this is a mistake because well-executed PR has a quantifiable and clear effect on a company’s bottom line. The truth is good PR can help a company stay afloat through hard times and expedite overall economic recovery.
PR professionals make and foster connections with analysts, journalists and key members of the media to help corporate clients achieve organic growth. The result is a strategic byline or interview that can be more cost-effective than a traditional advertisement. Search engines and social media can carry the message further than an ad’s impressions would take it. The company in question benefits from third-party media coverage, increasing the likelihood that customers will find their product and employees will find their company—growth that ripples into the economy at large.
- Raises awareness
Knowledge is power. A successful PR campaign raises a brand’s profile among those who would benefit from their products or services. This is particularly true when applied to the nonprofit sector. PR firms can help nonprofits shine a light on their cause through education initiatives that span print, television and social media. They can also help coordinate and promote fundraising events or maintain relations with key donors via email marketing initiatives that emphasize the impact of donor contributions.
Often underfunded, nonprofits have historically allocated very little of their budget to marketing and PR initiatives. But that is beginning to change. A 2022 survey of single and multi-site senior living nonprofits found respondents are spending an average of 4.86% of their operating budget on marketing in 2022. Results illustrate a significant increase from a similar survey conducted in 2015, when senior living nonprofits surveyed devoted 3.9% of their budgets to marketing. As inflation continues to rise and methods of outreach evolve, nonprofits are likely to dedicate more resources to furthering their mission through PR.
- Promotes corporate responsibility
Exposure means more eyes are watching operations more closely. By raising a brand or nonprofit’s profile, PR professionals raise the bar for the organization’s ethics. The current desire for transparency and corporate accountability encourages investors, partners and consumers to back organizations that not only publicly support pro-social activities but engage in them.
Closer scrutiny translates to heightened standards for the company in question as well as for the industry in general. Investors, partners, consumers and employees are increasingly attracted to purpose-driven companies. Brands that want to remain competitive and sustainable should prioritize building strong relationships with media and an expanding pool of stakeholders through PR.
Touching everything from brand reputation to employee recruitment and retention, PR plays an outsized role in helping corporate clients make a difference in their world and the world at large.
By Alannah Dragonetti