The Power of Collaboration – Achieving Operational Excellence Through Public Relations Partnerships

When a business faces financial turmoil, what’s typically the first to hit the chopping block?

You guessed it—the marketing budget and all communications and public relations that fall within it.

Fast forward to a crisis, and suddenly, that marketing budget is hanging on for dear life, desperately trying to extinguish the flames of a public relations nightmare.

It’s an old-school tactic: plan for the best and bring in the public relations team to address the worst if it happens. (I’ll argue that, with this mentality, it’s more a matter of when it happens).

But what if the public relations team could be part of your best-case scenario plan? What if I told you that PR is a vital part of an operational strategy that aims to build a legacy from day one?

If you’re contemplating removing public relations from your operations budget because you think you can bring it back in as needed, I encourage you to think again. Here are three ways to leverage PR as one of your strongest assets in achieving operational excellence.

Make it a partnership

When something in your life goes wrong, do you turn to a close friend or a total stranger? My guess would be the former. If that’s the case, why would it be any different for your business? When things go wrong in your operations, you don’t want to search for a new team to jump on board and help you solve the problem.

Trust is fundamental in any partnership, business or otherwise. When sh*it hits the fan, you want to know you can count on those around you.

Build a proactive strategy

Traditionally, PR has been a bit of a firefighter, swooping in to clean up messes after they’ve been made. However, approaching your PR as a strategic collaboration allows you to access a wealth of expertise, insights, and creative firepower—all of which are essential for navigating modern-day reputation management.

By working with a public relations team from day one, you collaborate on your foundational messaging and response strategy, which builds your reputation. As your partnership and business evolve, you can adapt accordingly. Working together from the ground up also allows you to align on what to say in a crisis rather than wasting time deliberating on a response.

Save money in the long run

It pays to be proactive, literally and figuratively.. The amount you spend on consistent public relations is practically nothing compared to what you have to fork out when you need to react hastily.

Reframe spending money on public relations as an investment, not an expense. If you need more convincing, even Bill Gates once said, “If I were down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”

The Showpiece Difference

During a recent project, the topic of public relations sparked a flurry of opinions. While some saw PR as another task on the list, I recognized it as a crucial component of our broader stakeholder engagement effort.

The client had hesitated to involve the agency due to uncertainty about future work. However, I advocated for their engagement to ensure alignment between our current strategic messaging and the potential scenarios we might face when going public. This way, we can ensure that our current messaging aligns with what we’ll likely communicate in the future, depending on various outcomes.

In other words, we’re never only thinking about today; we play a long game and think about what’s possible in the future.

So, when exactly should you bring in a PR partner? The short answer: yesterday. Being proactive in PR is crucial for managing tough times like financial crises or reputation hits (that lead to financial crises) and staying ahead of the game. It’s about being prepared, staying true to your message, and keeping things clear, no matter what comes your way.

Are you interested in learning more? As with your public relations team, we’d love to be your partners, too. Fill out the form below to get in touch.