By Anastasiya Golovatenko, Account Director, Sherpa Communications
As summer is at its peak in the region, businesses brace themselves for the customary slowdown as vacations ensue, creating a seasonal lull in operations. In these moments, public relations often becomes a prime target for budget cuts, seen as an easy and expedient expense to trim. However, a closer examination reveals that such short-term thinking may be a misguided mistake. In fact, in moments like these, PR emerges as an invaluable asset in an organization's ongoing pursuit of business success. According to a Statista survey, public relations is ranked as the third most sought-after service among digital agencies worldwide.
In today's chaotic communication landscape, having a dedicated PR machine amplifying your message to key stakeholders is not just prudent but essential for survival. Rather than hastily slashing PR and communication budgets at the first hint of a business slowdown, organizations would be wise to recognize the underlying implications of this shift. For instance, it might cause a disconnection between the brand and its audience, the narrative can become outdated, competitors may overtake the industry’s attention and ultimately, the momentum is lost.
The Power of Online Visibility
As the digital landscape continues to shape business competitiveness, establishing and maintaining strong online visibility has become an indispensable asset for any brand's triumph. The summer presents a unique opportunity for businesses to set themselves apart, enhance their online presence and curate a captivating news feed. Moreover, a robust PR strategy can continuously deliver compelling messages and enlighten the target audience about the brand’s unique selling points, playing a role in turning the brand into a household name.
Harnessing Media Opportunities
Summer is an excellent time to tap into media outlets that may be less responsive during other periods of the year. Securing a feature in prominent publications can significantly boost a brand's visibility and credibility. In fact, contributing an online piece to publications can have a lasting impact on search results. This is particularly important in the MENA region, where consumers increasingly turn to online research before purchasing.
A company's public image is the collective perception of its operations, and maintaining a positive reputation can yield numerous benefits, including increased business opportunities, improved talent acquisition, enhanced company valuation, and reduced marketing expenses. According to a global survey by Ipsos, 70% of consumers express a tendency to purchase from brands that align with their own principles. Consequently, cultivating public trust hinges on managing perception, and only a forward-thinking PR agency holds the key to that advantage.
Strategic Planning for Media Engagement
Crafting an effective media engagement strategy requires careful planning and preparation, mainly when targeting esteemed publications. These outlets typically operate on a lead time of at least one month in advance. By adopting this proactive approach, brands can ensure optimal media exposure at the desired time.
These days, digital media holds significant sway in shaping public opinion. Notably, a report by Data Reportal highlights that at the beginning of 2023, the UAE recorded a total of 9.38 million Internet users, while a separate regional survey found that around 32% of respondents used online sources to access news. Therefore, by strategically leveraging media channels and engaging with the online audience, brands can enhance their visibility, and attract an engaged audience.
As the summer season exerts its influence on the business landscape, organizations must recognize the undeniable value of maintaining an active and responsive PR machine. By reframing the perception of PR as an investment rather than an expendable cost, organizations can fortify their position and set the stage for long-term success. It is important to note that even when operations experience a temporary slowdown, PR never rests – consistently working to uphold the brand's image and ensure its continued success.