Brunnen Communications – viestintätoimisto
Brunnenin blogi: Value of PR

Can you set the right value of PR and communication?

The delivery day of PR Week is always a day of joy and professional progress for us at Brunnen. A magazine full of case references of the best PR and communication projects especially in the UK, where our industry has deep and historical rules. Additionally, PR Week covers good interviews and articles on our business, covering the drivers and obstacles, possibilities and views.

One thing that caught my eye in the latest PR Week magazine, was PR’s strategic role and its shift from a cost centre to being business-critical as standard practice. To be honest, this has not fully happened so far in Finland, but I think we are on a good track, though.

The best game changers are often difficulties, where you cannot continue with your traditional way of thinking. One difficulty is surely a reputational crisis. To put this a bit too strongly, the organisation needs at least once a reputation or communication crisis, where traditional way of thinking like keeping silence does not fly anymore.

The organisation is forced to do a plan how to survive and how to get its respect back. In the era of social selling bad rumours spread quicker than your own thoughts. If you don’t know your core messages, your answers on tricky questions, or your audiences’ expectations or motives, your audience leaves you. As you see, PR is not any more a soft and nice-to-have science area, rather the most critical strategic function which helps you away from the jungle.

PR needs measurable targets

Many reputational examples have shown great success, if you are ready to give faces to the crisis. You need to build up transparency and honesty. This is what your audiences expect.

PR is a young science, but to understand its aims and value for money is more important and ever. If you still put PR and comms to the obligatory cost and focus on “essential and must-have” areas like traditional hard business, you don’t survive in this turbulent and image-based world.

A good test on PR’s value is to ask yourself: what do you think would be the right value for communication function in your organisation? A difficult question, isn’t it? I am sure you cannot answer it, if you haven’t set any measurable targets for influencing. In many organisations there are none so far.

In Finland we have a parliamentary election this week. So many candidates fighting each other and trying to get her/his voice heard. If you don’t have a clear PR and comms strategy, I bet you are not going to be elected.

Let’s do one promise together: put PR into the investment portfolio and start living according it.

Taru Nikulainen

Taru Nikulainen

Taru lives and breathes strategies, influence, changes and crises. Being well seasoned in the communications field Taru manages to keep her head whilst many would already have their head spinning. She loves war history, the German language, literature, her two dachshunds and her family. In her free time Taru rides horses, plays tennis as well as goes skiing and running.

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