What can an effective public relations strategy do for a new food or beverage company? Sean Horrigan, a public relations specialist, says that it might mean the difference between obscurity and prominence for your brand.
But what is public relations, or PR as it is commonly known, and how is it different from advertising? According to Horrigan, who has over 15 years of experience in the field, “You pray for PR and you pay for advertising.”
All joking aside, Horrigan explained that PR is about engagement. It is the art and science of building brand awareness through third party influencers like the media, demo specialists, and consumers themselves. The challenge for brands is telling their story in a way that will make these influencers want to share it with other people.
Of course, that’s when things are working really well. Part of PR is also maintaining a company’s image, and that can involve damage control.
As part of a recent interview with FBU, Horrigan spoke about crisis management and what to do when a brand is faced with bad press, recommending a few integral steps for brands to take as a first step.
“Well, the first thing to do is own it and address it right away. One of the worst things you can do with bad press is bury your head in the sand. We live in an age where information travels very quickly and you want to address things immediately,” Horrigan said. “Even if someone gives you a bad review, if your consumers know that something is not working and you’re addressing it, that’s the important thing.”
Watch the rest of our interview with Horrigan for more PR wisdom as well as a few current trends he sees in the industry. And stay tuned for future segments as we discuss launching a PR campaign, tips for expanding your social media presence, and some of the logistical aspects of a public relations strategies, including terms of contracts and costs of engagement.