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What is PR?
Public Relations (PR) is everything that relates to a company’s image, reputation management anisaster stakeholders. In order to use online PR effectively, you need to pay attention to social media. Digital media gives you the opportunity to know your customers and gain a better understanding of their needs and interests. Online, you can listen to the latest trends while gaining an understanding of customer problems and concerns. Here, you can participate and post with customers – not to them. Online PR is about understanding and sharing your customers’ pain.
The PR challenge
At Elaraby, one of our most memorable cases was in the summer of 2015. Egypt was hit by a surprise heatwave and temperatures were soaring to all-time record levels. Naturally, this was followed by unprecedented levels of demand for Sharp air conditioning. As the market’s number one supplier of air conditioners, we exceeded all sales expectations for that year. But when we tuned to our social media, we found out that our customers were frustrated, due to delays in installment and frequent maintenance. We started thinking about how to change the negative to positive, through an online PR plan.
Online PR in action
We built a community where our old and new customers could interact. Our old customers, who had very good experiences with Elaraby, along with our new customers, who were angry because of the delay due to the unexpected weather were both added to the Sharp A/C Facebook community page. Our CRM and market research departments then started to gather information from the community. We also looked to our databases and started targeting the same community with Facebook ads. In addition to this, we launched a free mobile maintenance service in some areas related to angry customers in Cairo. After we resolved our customers’ complaints, we started shooting videos with some high-profile customers who had more complicated cases. The videos were shot in one of our stores and we reported how their negative experiences were fully transformed into positive ones.
Straight after this online PR campaign, we measured its impact through feedback and comments on social media. We had succeeded in transferring the feedback from negative to positive.
Adding a personal touch
Another case. During our Mothers’ Day campaign, we received feedback from a man saying that his friend always felt pain when he saw our ads. He recently lost his child, who looked very similar to the little one in our ad. We contacted him immediately, took all his information down and sent a high-level team to apologize and present him with a gift from Elaraby, reinforcing that this campaign was about being thankful to parents. They wrote about the visit on social media and how happy they were that Elaraby showed empathy for their loss.
In Egypt alone, the daily time a person spends on the internet averages seven hours. Customers are spending a lot of time there, so you must too. Now more than ever, you have to build a good relationship with customers, listening to what they are talking about, knowing what their interests are, and sharing their happiest and saddest moments. This lets them see you are the first to stand by them. When they think about your products, your approach will be the first thing that springs to mind. Online PR helps to build and maintain trust and a strong relationship with customers.