Imagine for a moment that you’ve invented the most genius product or service that anyone could ever want (perhaps you’ve already done so). You put an exorbitant amount of your time, money and resources into developing your product or service, and you even hire a team of experts to help with the developing or managing of it. Perhaps you’ve already done this step, too.

Now imagine that after allocating all of this time, money, resources, staffing and creativity into this one product or service, that you forget to tell anyone about it – so no one (outside yourself and your staff) knows about your genius idea, how it can help them, how it might make their life easier – and, hence, you have no one to purchase your genius product or service, which means, obviously, you don’t make any money from it. Seems like a waste, doesn’t it?

Well, if your new or existing company hasn’t allocated any time, money or resources into telling your company’s story, promoting your company’s image and/or telling the public your company even exists, chances are, you’re in a similar situation to the one described above.

Public relations (PR) is an affordable, effective way to accomplish business goals. Though it sometimes gets a bad, there’s really a lot more to PR than most people tend to know about. A few ways companies use PR is to:

  • Create positive public opinion
  • Increase name and brand recognition
  • Tell the company’s story
  • Notify audiences of new products/services, events and philanthropic opportunities
  • Secure unpaid, unbiased, third-party endorsement (typically by the media)

Many tend to scoff at the return on investment (ROI) of PR, but research shows otherwise. According to Procter & Gamble’s Statistical Modeling Efforts to Determine the ROI of Public Relations study, PR:

  • Drives sales at the same level as advertising
  • Delivers ROI that’s much greater than advertising
  • Delivers ROI on relatively low levels of spending

Overall, P&G determined that PR offers ROI of about 275%.

Yep, you read that correct. 275 percent ROI.

So let’s go back to that scenario we described at the beginning. Imagine you’ve spent a bunch of your time, money, staff and resources to develop your genius product or service – and then that you dedicate some resources to getting your product or service out to the public through PR efforts. Imagine then that you get 275 percent ROI on those efforts, which positively impact your company’s recognition, customer base and bottom line. Paints a much better picture, doesn’t it?