Public relations is critical to brand awareness and reputation, and partnering with the right PR agency can directly impact awareness of your brand, helping you achieve essential business and communication objectives.
But how do you know if it’s time to recruit a team of PR professionals? Outlined below are four business needs that indicate it might be time to consider a long-term solution to your PR needs by outsourcing to an agency.
Your company might have to write a press release to announce new products, launches, campaigns or internal team member movements. Not only can PR pros develop the press release, but they can also distribute it to targeted media contacts they know will be interested in receiving the news. They can also arrange and facilitate interviews, help shape editorial coverage, and track coverage results generated from the release. A PR firm can also help extend the life of a press release, so it doesn’t get lost amid dozens of other announcements being made on the same day, and they can lead strategic planning to help companies tell a bigger story – perhaps by teasing future announcements or utilizing core messages from other company content.
Managing PR activities is not an easy job; there are often several moving parts and competing deadlines to juggle. If a company finds that crucial areas of PR are falling through the cracks, it may be time to hire a PR firm. Business leaders can choose what they want their PR firm to manage. For example, they might delegate media relations and blogging to an agency, but continue to own newsletters, speech writing, event planning and social media in-house. PR firms can support these activities and remove much of the burden from the shoulders of in-house team members.
Moreover, PR teams should feel like an extension of your own. They can go beyond weekly calls to offer brainstorms or ad hoc advice. Then, as the needs of your in-house team evolve, you can adjust the work delegated to the PR firm.
Word of mouth is a powerful tool, but often it is not enough to build a solid brand. Whether you’re a startup or an established company launching a new product, your PR team will be the go-to experts in strategizing the best plan for the campaign. They’ll work closely with your team to determine the proper messaging and develop content and other important pieces of the project such as social, design, video and media relations. Rather than relying on word of mouth, PR pros leverage their long-standing relationships with reputable media and other influencers. As a result, they can help secure articles in high-ranking publications. Media articles generated through PR activities with high readership or viewership help boost brand SOV significantly.
Media training is a tactic public relations firms use to help spokespeople deliver consistent and compelling messages. If your company utilizes employees to address the public, each person must be on the same page regarding key messaging. PR firms are media-relations mavens. Therefore, they understand what practices work well when talking to reporters and the public. Agency professionals can help company spokespeople prepare for interviews and press conferences by outlining common reporter questions and tips for best answering those questions. They can also lead preparation sessions with spokespeople to practice answering questions and provide real-time feedback.
One final but important note. It would be best if you considered PR as a long-term business investment, not because it takes a long time to generate results, but because it involves creating a presence, developing relationships and maintaining those relationships. In addition, one press release isn’t likely to move the needle. Just like if you want to run a marathon, running one time isn’t going to set us up for success. instead, you need a training program that is maintained over time.
I hope these thoughts are helpful as you consider whether it’s time to invest in a relationship with a PR firm.Tags: agency PR, benefits of hiring a PR agency, business strategy, External PR Agencies, Media Training, PR agencies, PR Agency, pr strategy, public relations strategy, Seattle PR Agency, strategic communications, support