The PR Behind Black Friday

By: Marisa Ballard

Thanksgiving is popular, but the event that comes after it is sometimes more anticipated than the actual holiday itself. Black Friday has been considered the busiest shopping day of the year for a while now, and each year businesses prep their stores and send out their advertising to prepare for the masses.

Black Friday can be very lucrative for both businesses and consumers, but a lot more goes into the shopping experience than simply marking down prices and opening their stores at midnight. People don’t realize it, but PR plays an important role in deciding whether a business will have a successful Black Friday or not.

For starters, in order to attract customers to your store the night of Thanksgiving you have to have some kind of outward presence. This is especially important with small businesses. Advertising your store sales will get the attention of some, but to convince people to come to your store at 10 p.m. or later, you need the extra appeal that PR can bring. Establishing a store as a well-respected and well-frequented place will be more than enough to bring shoppers through your doors. This PR should be done the moment the business opens, not just a month before Black Friday.

PR specialists can do this in a number of way, whether it be developing campaigns to show people what their business is like, communicating with the public to develop a positive reputation, or spreading the word so people talk about and get to know the company.

When you think of the biggest names of Black Friday, mega-stores like Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target come to mind. Other widely known department stores like Sam’s Club don’t get as much attention, and there’s a reason for that. Best Buy and Wal-Mart are excellent at advertising great deals, but they also have a thorough and strict PR plan that they have executed throughout the years to gain this popularity. Advertising and marketing are also to thank for their continued success, but PR ensures that the companies continue to be seen in a positive light. Consumers want to shop at places they respect, and without PR specialists guiding that conversation people might be looking elsewhere to satisfy their shopping needs.

So when Black Friday does roll around and you line up outside your favorite store at 10 p.m. to take advantage of those hard-to-miss deals, realize that PR is a part of everything we engage with and that there’s a reason you’re at that exact store on that night.