You don’t need to be an influencer or celebrity to make public relations work for you. Having a good PR team on your side can help a business increase its visibility, brand recognition, and bolster its reputation in the community. These things can eventually translate into more customers and a bigger slice of the proverbial pie.
However, hiring a PR team isn’t free. A PR agency is an investment. Before deciding if hiring a PR firm is the right move for you, consider what makes a PR team an asset. Then ask yourself if a PR team is worth it for your business. Having a clear vision of your short- and long-term objectives and goals will help you understand the desired direction of your business. When looking towards the future, you may be surprised at how much value the right agency can add to your image and your bottom line.
What is PR?
Public relations agencies are businesses that specialize in helping their clients craft and distribute information about their business or industry. However, this information is not distributed in the form of paid ads or commercials. It is essentially “free” media that doesn’t cost a company anything to circulate. Free media can include local news stories, national news stories, newspaper articles, or magazine articles. Stories can also be distributed via the Internet or certain social media outlets. This type of media allows customers to see information or stories about a business without the filter of product sales.
The goal of PR is to put the right message in front of the right people. By generating favorable media coverage, a PR firm can help a client cement their image in the minds of potential customers. A good PR strategy can build brand recognition and customer loyalty, adding value to a client’s business.
Why is PR Worth It?
Numerous factors can make PR worth the price of a good agency. However, what makes a PR firm is worth its weight depends on the client’s needs, goals, and overall objectives. You get from PR what you help put in. Outlining your values ahead of time and communicating your needs with a PR firm helps them understand what you want to get out of the relationship. From there, a PR team can craft a unique strategy that can help you reach your objectives and allow them to target the audience you hope to capture.
An important way that PR can help bolster a client’s business is through brand recognition and credibility. PR professionals understand which media outlets can help build credibility while simultaneously increasing their visibility in the community. A solid PR firm will then be able to pitch story ideas and distribute press releases to the outlets that may help give their client the clout they need.
For good or bad, a strong public relations team can use the power of words to change the hearts and minds of people. Placement of positive stories and positive messages about a client can help build trust and loyalty. When something traumatic or negative happens, a strategic PR firm may also attempt to mitigate potential damage to a brand or turn the incident into a humanizing moment. Crisis management is just as important to a brand as positive story placement. A solid PR firm should have experience with both skills.
Skilled Professionals Who Know the Business
Many businesses handle PR internally. This strategy may work for certain industries. However, if you are considering what makes a PR firm worth hiring, consider the skilled professionals they hire to fill their firms. Many current public relations specialists are former journalists. This is important to note because former journalists have inside information about the business. They tend to have a wealth of contacts in the media industry and know how to get a media outlet’s attention. From drafting compelling press releases that don’t end up in the trash bin, to reaching out to community contacts, they know how to leverage their contacts for the client’s benefit.
News stories come from a variety of different sources. Because of the saturation of information, it’s not enough to simply email a press release or event notice to someone these days. It takes carefully crafted communication, outreach, and tenacity to pitch stories and get them placed in the right outlets at the right times. Good PR professionals are transparent, proactive, and passionate about what they do. They want your continued business and will go the extra mile to make sure that you see the value they add to your business.
How Else Can PR Benefit a Business?
Contrary to popular belief, PR is more than just submitting press releases and sending out event invites. At its core, public relations is about good storytelling. It is about crafting compelling and engaging messages that linger with an audience and spur them into action. A skilled PR firm should have experience handling different tasks as well as monitoring and responding to new and emerging trends within a client’s specific industry. Generally, a solid public relations firm will understand how to handle the following:
- Crafting press releases
- Following up with media outlets
- Writing pitches
- Speech writing
- Blog writing
- Event planning
- Strategic crisis management
- Market research
- Community engagement
With these elements in play, a PR firm can contribute to the success of a business by:
- Increasing credibility
- Increasing brand recognition
- Enhancing a business’s public presence
- Enhancing a business’s online presence
- Generating positive word of mouth
- Handling crisis situations
- Building community and customer relationships
What do these contributions all translate into? For many businesses, they translate into increased growth and sales. New customers are drawn to the business while existing customers develop brand loyalty and keep coming back as repeat customers.
If you are looking to grow your business or remain competitive in a thriving marketplace, you may want to consider the benefits of hiring a PR agency. Spending money on a firm today may add tremendous value to your company tomorrow.