The value of a business is not only found on its balance sheet, expressed in its physical and financial assets, but it also consists of vital intangibles, such as corporate reputation and public trust.
A company cannot acquire these “soft assets” through hard currency. Nor can the functions of sales or marketing do the job. Neither, of course, can advertising.
Only the various disciplines within the field of public relations can provide the soft currency that puts these assets in the plus column; namely, the currency of right ideas and messages consistently, clearly and passionately articulated to the right audiences at the right times.
The purpose of Public Relations is to help an organization communicate and build relationships with its various publics, and those that influence those publics, in order to forward or protect an organization's reputation and interests—in an ethical and responsible manner.
During the hysteria of the ‘90s, when the blind were leading “the blinder,” people seemed to have lost sight of the need for credibility. The self-proclaimed “visionaries” who were “revolutionizing” one thing or another, talked only about “branding,” which they thought happened in an instant with a Super Bowl ad and some “hype, spin and buzz,” which was mistaken for Public Relations. In fact, many entrepreneurs mistook and substituted what they thought Public Relations was for their businesses. But that’s another story.
In any event, there was no understanding of the connection between what a company actually delivers to its customers and company credibility, or between branding and credibility, as well as the time and effort it takes to establish, develop and leverage it. At smartpr we call this Marketplace Credibility Management. Without it, some company assets are impossible to come by—or are rapidly lost.
Value today is increasingly derived from intangible assets – intellectual property, innovative technology, financial services or reputation…the value of such assets can erode with shocking speed if customers find something better…[Said Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan:] ‘Trust and reputation can vanish overnight. A factory cannot.’”
The Wall Street Journal
April 4, 2002, Page One