Tag Archive for: how to interview a pr firm

You may be at the beginning of your search, or you may have narrowed down your choices, but wherever you are in your cannabis PR firm search, you should know that the top cannabis PR firms should all have these skills. Notice these skills may differ from PR services and that’s because what separates an outstanding PR firm from the average PR firm is the ability to understand how social, cultural, and business changes will affect their clients. We’re providing you with 3 questions to ask your top cannabis PR firms to help you differentiate them from one another.

Emotional Intelligence

We’re living in dynamic times. Top cannabis PR firms can understand your company, its goals, and how media shifts will change your reputation and media outreach strategies. That’s right, outstanding PR means you have a team who has their pulse on the big picture – they know when to raise the red flag and when to take a breath and let the moment pass. Emotional intelligence also means your PR team continues to learn from itself. You’ll find emotionally intelligent teams hold themselves accountable, they are solution-oriented, and they are easy to collaborate with. Emotional intelligence isn’t necessarily a feature of maturity, but the two do often go hand in hand. Be sure you meet your team and understand who you will be working with before you sign on the bottom line. To get a sense of your PR team’s emotional intelligence, ask your top cannabis PR firm: what advice would they give you at the beginning of the COVID pandemic? 

Digitally Forward Perspective

Social media has been a sub-section of PR for a decade, and yet, many PR professionals don’t consider social media part of the PR landscape. Ask yourself why you’d want a PR agency that doesn’t concern itself with your most visible and accessible communication channel? No doubt about it – social media is an important player in your cannabis company’s reputation. You may not choose to have your PR DO your social media, but a top cannabis PR firm should absolutely provide guidance and oversight. Your cannabis PR firm should also know the current perspective platforms are taking around cannabis products and companies. This is a moving target, changing regularly, but being banned or kicked off social media is still a thing for cannabis companies. This is also true for choosing influencers. Ask your cannabis PR firm for their perspective on cannabis influencers. It will tell you something about how they approach your media strategy. Question to Ask cannabis PR firm: what’s your perspective on social media for my cannabis company

Cannabis PR Specialty or Specialization?

The cannabis industry, though still an emerging industry, is past its most nascent stages. Cannabis PR firms that only work in cannabis have advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is extreme specialization; the disadvantage is their perspectives might be myopic. Ask yourself which is more important for your business objectives? You want a top cannabis PR firm that can provide content and insights into the industry, but is it also important that your strategy reflects audiences that aren’t specific to the cannabis industry? For example, if you’re looking to attract an untapped market of cannabis customers, then having a cannabis PR agency that has a broad perspective on consumer PR might be helpful. If you’re a cannabis B2B company, then you may want a PR agency that’s able to cross over into national media outlets, besides cannabis-focused publications for your cannabis business stories. A top cannabis PR firm should be able to review with you how your competitors are doing in the media and recommend some strategies to position your company based on your stated cannabis business goals. Question to Ask cannabis PR firm: what advice do they have for a company at your stage of growth?

What Is Your PR Plan?

Every top PR cannabis agency has a distinct approach to achieving your business goals. It’s important for you to know whether that approach suits the rest of your overall strategy. Many PR firms provide you with a plan based on one or two conversations. But is that realistic? This is the exact reason Avaans Media offers a proprietary approach to working together. Ask us about our discovery process and what it means to your PR campaign. Question to Ask cannabis PR firm: what research do they do in advance of providing you a proposal?

How Will You Measure PR Success?

Cannabis PR is still different. There are avenues of collaboration and marketing that are still closed to cannabis companies. So measuring cannabis PR success might look different. For example, it might be about establishing a digital presence, because the traditional methods are less available or effective for cannabis companies. Branding is an area that many cannabis companies don’t take seriously, but today’s branding will make a difference if the plan is to sell the business or secure funding for expansion. Question to Ask Cannabis PR firm: How do they see thier metrics fitting into your business objectives?

Since 2015, Avaans Media is one of the top cannabis PR firms (previously Primo PR). We’re based in Los Angeles and we work with emerging industries like cannabis. If you’d like to ask US these questions, please reach out.

As you research PR agencies you may see many touting that they are “boutique.” What is a boutique agency? A boutique agency is an agency that prides itself on its smaller size, usually under 20 employees. Boutique agencies tend to offer either specializations or a more hands-on approach to client services.

Is a boutique agency right for you? Whether a boutique agency is right for you certainly depends on your needs. So, let’s explore some common questions about boutique PR agencies.

Do Boutique Agencies Offer the Same Services as Larger Agencies?

In so much as all agencies vary in services offered, yes, but boutique agencies expand and contract as a client needs. To do this, they often rely on a trusted team of subject experts and implementation specialists. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach. The advantage is you’re not paying for services and team members you aren’t using. The disadvantage is adding to scope and implementation may take longer. Let’s say you need a 3-minute video done, and you need it finished yesterday.

Regardless of agency size, you’re dealing with the adage of “pick two: fast, excellent, or cheap.” But a super-fast turnaround may be firmly in the realm of possibility within a large agency. They may have a scriptwriter, videographer, and editing team at the ready. Meanwhile, if you ask a boutique agency to script a video, record a video, and edit one, it may take slightly longer as those team members aren’t ready right away, and to make it happen, you may pay more for the additional scope than at a larger agency, since these are “on-call” specialist team members as opposed to those employed full-time by a larger agency. So if you need an agency for services at the last minute, or with a 24-7 approach, a larger agency may be your better choice.

On the other hand, at a larger agency, you are paying for 24/7 service whether you need it or not. Another consideration of larger agencies vs. boutique pr agencies is the experience level of your team. Larger PR agencies often have less seasoned account managers running your PR strategy, and that may lead to more turn over and missing out on decades of experience from executive-level PR teams. 

Do I Get The Same Level of Service?

Of course, it depends on your definition of service. So let’s break down how agencies of different sizes handle client management. Boutique agencies have more “working managers,” which means your account managers are frequently agency executives. Their level of engagement will vary depending on factors like your PR budget, but they’re more deeply involved with your account than at a larger agency. You may even work with the CEO of the agency at a boutique agency; a highly unlikely occurrence at a large agency.

Also, typically, larger agencies assign more clients per team member than boutique agencies do. While a strategist at a large agency may carry 6-8 clients, at a boutique agency, your strategist may carry 4-5 clients at once. For example, at our agency, we’re regularly receiving service inquiries, but our current clients always come first. We make that choice because our senior strategists are involved in both biz development and client work. If personalized strategies and personal attention matter, a smaller agency may suit you better.

At a larger agency, it’s very common to work with an executive during the RFP or decision-making process, but that executive is rarely involved in the day-to-day of your account; you may see them once a month. So if working with executive-level strategists is important to you, you may appreciate the personalized attention a boutique offers. But if you are someone who only wants to hear from your agency’s account team when necessary or you’re ok with a more junior account team for the day-to-day, then you may appreciate the larger agency’s approach. But if you want more engaged and experienced strategists, who are regularly active in and with your account, then a smaller agency might be better.

Are Boutique Agencies Less Expensive?

First, some perspective. Your $20,000 budget might be a minimum at a larger agency, but quite substantial at a boutique agency. So, you should consider the value of PR for your company and working with a larger agency as part of the whole value proposition (like the additional services mentioned above). Sometimes hiring a larger agency is well worth it; “no one ever got fired for hiring Edelman.”

So, even though your budget doesn’t command the same level of respect from a larger agency, there may be a real advantage to having a named agency as your agency of record.  But if you want the red carpet rolled out for you, at that price range, then a boutique agency may be a better choice for you.

The cost of hiring a PR agency will depend on many factors, including your goals, your budget, and your agency selection. Consider some of these factors when considering whether a PR firm is right for your business. If you are contemplating the cost of hiring a PR firm, chances are you already know the importance of establishing your business’s image. Positive PR can help increase brand recognition, loyalty, and community goodwill. However, you might be wondering, how many does it cost to hire a PR firm?

How do you know what’s fair and what rate to pay? PR firms often have minimums, and we’ll get to that in a minute, but what factors does a PR firm consider?

What To Look For in the Early Stages

PR Agency Fees

Don’t be afraid also to ask questions about their fee structure. Cost to hire a PR agency and your budget is a big factor in deciding whether to hire an agency or keep your PR work in-house. A PR firm should be transparent when discussing what they charge and how their fee structure works. You may also want to ask how long it takes their team to craft a press release or set up for an event. Understanding how many hours a typical project can take may help you evaluate whether a PR agency is cost-effective for your business.

There is a huge range of pricing for PR firms. Solopreneur firms, or less experienced PR firms, might charge around $4,000 monthly, depending on the client and the market. Larger firms, premium agencies $25,000 or more monthly, and boutique firms often charge between $12,000 to $18,000 monthly for their services. There are also ways to save on agency fees, so work with your agency to discuss how you can jointly achieve more efficiency.

To help foster a successful relationship with a PR firm, you need to communicate your goals upfront and set your expectations early. Doing so means that you and the firm start on the same page and can track results throughout the relationship. Meeting with a company before you hire them allows you to gauge how comfortable you are with the firm and how they will manage the reputation of your business.

Pay to Play: In Context

There is a difference between pay-to-play and placed content. Placed content is content whose space you directly purchased. Placed content is usually an additional fee on top of the cost to hire a PR agency It can have a credible and authentic role in your marketing and PR efforts from a content strategy perspective.  However, businesses need to be on the lookout for a potentially dangerous practice called pay-to-play. Pay-to-play is a phrase that refers to professionals making undisclosed or under-the-table payments to journalists or media companies for publishing a client’s story.

Placed content is ethical as long as the client understands what they’re getting. Pay-to-play is unethical.

The value of journalism is its independence. The value of PR is respecting this fact while also creating opportunities and access for clients and journalists to have a mutually beneficial relationship. All media coverage, or earned media as it’s often called, is always at the whim of an editorial decision. A newsroom assesses the merit of stories and gauges how interested their audience will be in the information that they provide. Paying for coverage is unethical and potentially deprives an audience of newsworthy content.

It is also dangerous because media outlets have a duty to report to their audience when a spot or story includes paid content. Paid content includes commercials and ads, and sometimes even space for product or CEO thought leadership. Potential consumers know that an advertiser has paid for the information provided when they view a commercial. Pay-for-play is essentially duping an audience into thinking that the content is unbiased. If a PR firm purchases airtime under the table, it misrepresents the impartiality of the content and it is a disservice to the client.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for sponsored content and paid placement. It’s just important to understand the differences and integrate them into your plan accordingly.

Setting Goals and Expectations with Your PR Firm

Do your homework ahead of time before committing to a PR agency. Sit down with your team and outline your goals and expectations. What are you hoping to gain out of your relationship with a PR firm? How much of your budget will you dedicate monthly to a PR firm? Do you expect your PR firm to visit your office? You need to be honest when answering these questions and establishing your objectives. When your goals are firmly set, schedule meetings with various PR agencies.

When consulting with a PR firm, consider asking these questions to assess whether the firm will be a good fit:

  • How would they approach your program?
  • What do they truly excel at – and does that fit your expectations?
  • What is their communication style?
  • How do they measure success?
  • How will they go about generating leads and coverage?
  • Do they know how to manage crisis situations?
  • How will they help you reach your goals?

The PR Cost Factors within Your Control

Your PR Budget Should Match Your Business Goals

The cost to hire a PR agency should align with the impact you expect your PR firm to have on your business goals. If you’re hiring a PR firm to grow sales, then the expense of your PR firm should reflect the importance of that on your brand. If you’re pre-IPO, then your PR budget should reflect the importance of that milestone. If you’re looking for the average cost of hiring a PR firm, you should look at PR firms that meet average expectations.

For example, if you’re in maintenance mode and need a responsive rather than a proactive PR agency, the cost should be less than that of a proactive media relations and media placement campaign, which can reach billions of people.

While PR is an important tool for growing your business, don’t expect to increase your sales 100% by investing an additional 5% in PR. Indeed, there are ways to track revenue from PR.

What Industry Are You In?

Businesses in fast-growing or emerging industries like CleanTech, HealthTech, or Cannabis can also affect PR pricing. If your industry is regulated or could be regulated, a PR agency will need to take additional steps to consider your company’s future needs.

What is Your Timeline?

The timeline can affect the budget—if you’re asking an agency to scramble, it will cost more. Effective public relations is a long game. Unlike advertising, PR isn’t a turn-on-and-turnoff situation. It’s more like a train: It takes a bit to get moving, but once it’s moving, it gains speed quickly.

Why Experience Matters in PR

What are you actually buying when you hire a PR firm? Talent, judgment, and experience, these factors are the number one reason why experience matters for successful businesses are so important. Since almost 60% of PR agency fees are allocated to staff, that’s one reason why PR is so expensive – talent matters.

Why is PR so expensive research

USC Annenberg Communication Report 2023

 

Established PR firms with track records of success tend to charge more for their services. Hiring experienced PR professionals adds innumerable value; a firm’s reputation is often established through its employees’ skill and experience level.

Some agencies have very young teams, while others have more executive-level teams. Each has pros and cons. Some top PR firms employ former journalists and experienced PR professionals, while others hire very junior team members.

One advantage of a seasoned, expert-level PR team, besides experience, is their understanding of the media landscape – who is likely to write about your company and why. Maybe, more importantly, seasoned PR teams can guide you in creating more opportunities in various ways. They also understand what media companies are looking for regarding story ideas. They can craft attention-getting press releases that stand a better chance of being seen and picked up instead of being tossed in the trash heap of yesterday’s news. Seasoned PR experts know the best people to follow up with after issuing a press release or event notice. Those with experience in the industry understand the intricacies of the business, and their experience will likely add to the cost of hiring a PR agency. They are masters of communication who know how to get a message across and which avenues offer their clients the best chance at positive exposure in the media. Understanding the nuances of marketing and portraying a positive image are honed skills needed for your business’s PR firm.

 

At the end of the day, hiring a PR firm is an investment, but only if you find an agency whose goals align with yours. When deciding if a PR firm’s prices coincide with your company’s budget and needs, consider your goals, specific industry challenges, and the expertise of a firm’s staff. Do not be afraid to ask tough questions because the reputation of your business may depend on how your PR agency responds. The right PR agency can be an excellent investment in your business.

Question: Do you need a PR Agency for media coverage?

 

This is a totally fair question. The answer is no.

But, if you don’t need a PR agency for media coverage, then why are there so many PR agencies and what value do they bring? Here are 3 reasons why hiring an agency helps you get media coverage. In her early years at Spanx, Sara Blakely famously used PR and not a single paid advertisement, and she did much of it herself early on.

PR strategy and emotional intelligence in pitching

Many people will tell you that PR agencies thrive off their media relationships. And this is true, particularly within certain B2B industries. But especially within consumer media outlets, the people writing are constantly shifting. Media is in a state of re-invention with reduced budgets, and many media writers and journalists are actually finding freelancing to be more beneficial. So while we’ve certainly developed deep relationships with journalists, it’s not uncommon for them to leave the beat or move to freelance. And it’s the keeping track of these relationships and their new contact info, along with relevant beats, that set the agency relationship apart and helps a PR agency for media coverage. We employ tools to help us quickly find the right people at the right time. We can also quickly find recent articles across a wide range of outlets, and this helps us get a better, more strategic sense of the likelihood that a particular journalist is interested in our story.

PR firms know the true target audience

What does a media pitch look like? You just email the journalist and tell them about your company, right? And then they email you back and you get media coverage. That’s how it works, right? Not quite. You don’t ACTUALLY need a PR agency for media coverage, right? Technically true, but journalists don’t view their job as helping you get media coverage. The journalist’s job is to tell a well-rounded story. Increasingly, the journalist’s job includes ensuring that the article gets eyeballs. When you’re talking to journalists, their needs must come first; that’s why it’s called media relations. At Avaans, we spend a lot of time understanding the shifting needs of journalists, we understand how to talk with journalists and how to ensure your company stays in front of the right media outlets at the right time for media coverage. Understanding how to support media outlets and their journalists is part is an effective reputation management strategy.

 

PR firms bring an outside perspective

If you have an internal and separate communications person,  meetings and communication strategy along with internal comms likely fill their days. That’s a mighty big job already. The demands of that role make it nearly impossible to do consistent media outreach. But even if they do, an agency supports the brand with something else: an outside perspective. At Avaans, we often provide a brand insight that changes business outcomes. Because we view the brand with fresh eyes, we can identify gaps in coverages based on your business goals and inform you on emerging trends that are relevant to your PR strategy. If you do not have an internal comms person or your CMO doubles as your communication executive, then your CMO definitely wants a PR firm to provide PR insight. PR is part of marketing, but it has distinct differences and opportunities and a good PR firm like Avaans can provide insight into ways to combine marketing and PR.  

 

The biggest brands in the world count on brand equity as a major part of their valuation; investing in PR makes brand value grow faster.

Learn more about our work and how we have built value for our clients.

What does it mean to be a modern PR agency these days? There are 3 characteristics of a modern PR firm. Today’s modern PR firms are trust-focused, digitally savvy, purpose forward, and customer-obsessed. This means modern PR agencies can think long-term while staying nimble enough to be a strategic and operational resource in today’s fast-moving world. It’s difficult to do both, but that’s why modern PR agencies are so valuable.

Can a legacy PR firm also be a modern PR firm? Absolutely. And, a new PR firm isn’t necessarily more modern than a legacy PR firm. Digital PR firms aren’t necessarily more modern than those who focus on earned media. That’s because our characteristics supersede age and services and for depth and maturity. Depth and maturity are particularly important for fast-growing brands and hyper-growth companies because these companies need the savvy and emotional intelligence of a modern PR firm so they can stay nimble and focused.

 

      1. Trust Focused

        Modern PR firms are trust-focused. Consumers today are incredibly savvy. After all, we’re exposed to roughly 10,000 messages a DAY. To understand why trust is so important to modern PR, we have to go way, way, back into how we evolved. Our brains haven’t quite evolved to deal with this kind of input, so as a result, we manage this input in our subconscious. One of the most basic human survival functions is trust, that’s why we organize into social tribes. We trust our social tribes. See where this is headed?

        Today, our default reaction to almost anything is suspicion – even our most established institutions get the side-eye. 6 out of 10 adults say they distrust something until they see evidence.

        While there are initial trust signals, trust is the long game. Trust signals need to be consistent and thorough. Consumers today quickly recognize brands who say one thing, but do another. They recognize greenwashing, they see through insincerity. But it’s not just the cost of distrust that hypergrowth and fast-growing brands need to consider, it’s also the advantages of trust.

        Which means we trust brands who act and signal in ways that we trust. Our source of trust can come from several signals, but earned media, that is coverage where a brand, or person, is characterized in a trusted outlet and/or trusted person in an independent and organic manner.

         

        Trust becomes a brand cornerstone because trust begets loyalty and loyalty begets advocacy. Trust is also a considerable cornerstone to brand value. You can’t really have considerable brand value without considerable trust. And damaged trust, on a grand scale is incredibly expensive to repair.

        That’s why modern PR firms place an important emphasis on trust – because they know that’s what their clients are really after. It also takes discipline for a modern PR agency to stay trust-focused, for the same reason it takes discipline to be a trusted brand-there are indeed short-term shortcuts that look good today, but can have devastating affects in the future.

        A GREAT modern PR firm will help you define a wide range of strategics and values and aligned KPIs so you can track your trust-building efforts.

      2. Digitally Savvy

        Modern PR firms are digitally savvy. This doesn’t “only” mean they understand social media. It also means they understand how to earn trust in digital formats from forums to social media. It means they know how PR and SEO can work together, and where they separate. Digitally savvy PR firms are monitoring review sites, your search results, and other digital signals for red flags. Digitally savvy PR firms understand how earned media, paid media, social media and owned media work together and how to pull the levers of each type of media for a stated campaign aim.

        Digitally savvy PR firms also have their pulse on other avenues growing in influence. For example, media relations today include trusted magazines, blogs, and increasingly newsletters. Newsletters are an outstanding example of trust AND digital intelligence. Think about it – if you’ve given your email to receive a newsletter in your inbox, that’s a big trust signal. Several years ago, newsy newsletters took on renewed relevance and when Substack courted journalists, it was another endorsement for newsy newsletters. Some of Substack’s email publishers are making well over $100K per year on subscriptions. Newsletter impressions and reach are difficult to track, but that’s offset by the incredible trust value they bring.  While the “ROI” might be difficult to pinpoint, the digitally savvy PR firm knows how to evaluate newsletter appearances

        Using digital tools wisely also helps a modern PR firm deeply understand your customers or target customers. Our deep analysis isn’t only observational, it’s data driven from a multitude of sources, that give us a wide view of what’s happened, and what is likely to happen. We also use a multitude of sources to engage on a deeper level with journalists.

      3. Purpose Forward

        Because consumers are aligning with their tribes, it’s more and more important for brands to align with a larger purpose. Purpose, like trust, is an inside-out job. Purpose HAS to be authentic. The good news is that for most brands, there actually is an authentic purpose; it’s just a matter of aligning that purpose with other campaigns, including sponsorship, social media, word of mouth, and earned media.

        From an earned media perspective, it’s rarely enough to have a purpose. It’s important that brands today activate on purpose and align on purpose. There’s no doubt that purpose can be a landmine, so that’s where public relations comes in. Modern PR firms are emotionally intelligent and able to guide brands on choices that may be consistent with their stated purpose. PR can help guide ad campaigns, sponsorship, and influencer campaigns to improve outcomes and brand reputation.

      4. Customer Obsessive

        How can a PR agency help its clients improve trust, loyalty, and brand if it isn’t client obsessed? Now, your definition of client obsessed might differ from someone else’s. That’s why it’s important to know the client characteristics that you really need. Do you need a PR agency that is on-call 24/7? Do you crave a stable, intelligent PR team that becomes an extension of your team? How does your PR firm stay aligned with your strategies and objectives, even as they change? Our entire model is based on your needs – from our Strategy Driven Pricing  to our Product PR Sprints for DTC or CPG brands everything we do is designed to move the needle for you.

 

Today’s modern PR firms come in all sizes, from the extraordinarily large to the boutique. But to be a truly modern PR firm, it takes a village, so it’s not enough to have a micro-agency or freelancer. No one person can see the entire landscape alone. Smart agencies hire emotionally intelligent team members. At Avaans, we hire emotionally intelligent PR executives. Our experienced team has successful track records and comes from an array of backgrounds. That’s why we call our team the A-Team. If you’re a fast-growing or hyper-growth or ambitious brand, and you’d like a modern PR firm that’s also experienced, please reach out to us.

One of the biggest mistakes that consumer packaged goods companies make is assuming that consumers are only interested in shallow, colorful, brightly designed packages. Consumers care about who makes their products and where they come from. Setting yourself apart in the crowded CPG market is about more than making a good visual impression. Loyalty and brand recognition come from carefully curating your image and making a connection with your target audience in a meaningful and positive way.

Hiring a purpose-driven PR firm can help hone your message to consumers. This type of firm can also place your message in strategically valuable media outlets to get a foothold in a competitive marketplace. Navigating these strategic PR campaigns can be labor-intensive. An experienced PR firm can provide the professional support you need for brand growth and visibility. Investing in a PR agency with CPG experience may be the right move for you, especially in today’s economic climate and competition.

What are CPGs?

CPG, or consumer packaged goods, are products that are consumed by customers regularly and require routine replacement. These types of goods generally have a short shelf life. CPGs include food items, clothing, makeup, cosmetic products, and household goods. The market may feel dominated by big-name brands with extensive marketing teams at their disposal. However, now is the right time for emerging brands to take advantage of PR to increase their brand awareness and visibility.

CPGs and Consumers

Consumer packaged goods companies are one of the largest manufacturing employers in the U.S. The industry itself contributes nearly $2 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product and generates $1.1 trillion in labor income. What does this mean for the industry itself? It means the industry is not only profitable but also highly competitive. Brands are consistently competing for the attention and the hard-earned dollars of everyday Americans. When store shelves are saturated with products, brand recognition becomes an important factor in relation to consumer buying habits.

Consumers buy brands they recognize and trust. This relationship between the brand and the consumer does not happen overnight. It develops over time through carefully crafted messages aimed at the right audience. Once a consumer develops brand awareness, they are more inclined to continue buying the product they know the most about. Good companies will continue to foster their relationship with consumers by the following approaches:

  • Staying in touch with their needs
  • Managing expectations
  • Generating targeted messages aimed at increasing consumer loyalty

Companies can adapt and market towards their target consumer base by keeping a finger on the pulse of consumer awareness and buying habits.

How PR Can Help CPG Companies

Any economy can experience supply chain issues, rising costs, and product shortages. These issues rarely leave a positive impression on the consumer. The rise of social media has shown us that misinformation or negative sentiments can quickly sour an individual’s image of a brand or company. As misinformation spreads, so do negative consumer responses. Now more than ever, companies need to take a proactive approach to communicate with consumers. PR firms can help CPG companies achieve their communication goals by leveraging their influence with media outlets and crafting stories that positively resonate with their audience.

Public relations agencies specialize in helping their clients generate and distribute information about their business. Public relations is sometimes lumped under the marketing umbrella. While the two share similar goals, they are not the same. Public relations agencies know how to leverage free media, which does not cost a company anything to distribute, unlike paid ads or spots.

PR firms can be crucial in helping CPG companies create purpose-driven, helping to increase brand recognition. Brand recognition helps companies stand out from the crowd and sets them apart from their competition. PR firms can also assist with story placement in local news, newspapers, magazines, and national news organizations, letting customers know that you are out there in the marketplace. With strategic PR campaigns, brand awareness grows and can translate into more sales. With continued PR saturation, what was once brand recognition turns into brand loyalty. One-time customers turn into repeat customers, and sales may continue to rise.

Another benefit of using a PR firm for free media is credibility. Consumers know that when a company pays money for a commercial, billboard, or web banner, they are looking at a carefully crafted image designed to get them to spend their money on the product. PR agencies work strategically to place stories in free media. Free media adds an air of credibility to a company because the company did not directly pay to get its message to the consumer. For example, a story airing on a local news station about a company’s recent good deeds in the community can give the company both brand recognition and credibility.

A skilled public relations firm with experience in the consumer packaged goods industry should be able to help you reach your goals by:

  • Increasing visibility and credibility
  • Increasing brand recognition and brand awareness
  • Strengthening customer relationships and building brand loyalty
  • Generating positive word of mouth
  • Building community relationships
  • Reducing repetitional risk
  • Meeting consumers communication needs

Strategically crafted public relations campaigns can help a CPG company connect with its target audience in more meaningful ways. Building an emotional connection between a consumer and a company is powerful. This connection can eventually translate into more sales and more repeat business for your CPG company.

During difficult times, the first thing that companies often cut from their budgets is marketing or PR. Right now, PR and marketing are the last elements of business that should be on the chopping block. The time is ripe to get your message out to invested consumers desiring authentic and sincere communication. Take this opportunity to connect with your consumer base on a deeper, more intentional level and see how it translates into a better consumer-client relationship.

If you are interested in what a PR agency can do for your CPG business, now is the perfect time to explore your options.