Tag Archive for: what to look for in a PR agency

One of the first questions everyone asks a potential PR agency is, “do you have experience in (my industry)?” Hiring a PR firm with experience relevant to you is a multifaceted process, and fundamentally, it’s one no one really enjoys. Part of the reason no one enjoys it is every PR agency is slightly different, and it can be hard to determine which is most valuable to your company. But engaging with a PR firm based on their experience is really like letting the tail wag the dog. The question you really want to ask is, “What’s your experience with companies with the same business goals?“. This is especially true in emerging industries and nascent markets. What’s the use of hiring a boutique PR agency with experience in your industry if they do not know how to get you to the next level, whether that’s additional funding, an M/A event, or an IPO event? What you really want is to hire a PR firm with experience in taking you to that next level and help you accomplish your business goals.

There are two or three reasons why ambitious and fast-growing startups initiate PR, and they are all vital business objectives. Ultimately, PR is almost always at the junction of a critical turning point for companies of all stages, from startup to hypergrowth to IPO PR. And the reason for that is simple: there’s no better asset than a strong, trusted, and well-known brand; brand value can add tens of millions to valuations.


Next Level: Additional Funding

Do investors care about PR? They do, but for different reasons than you might think. Investors want companies that think big, but increasingly do so responsibly. One reason PR is a good investment is you can activate your PR for years after you receive it. A steady stream of PR makes it much easier for a company to grow,  and PR provides social proof that helps a company secure traction, and also become an industry leader. Think about the startup founders who have used PR brilliantly to become one of the top providers in their verticals. From Marc Benioff of Salesforce to Richard Branson at Virgin, startup founders who leverage marketing and PR inspire confidence when their thinking is bold and audacious – PR puts audacious thinking on display like no other marketing medium. Finding a PR firm with experience with companies seeking investment could not be more important.


The Right Partners: Mergers and Acquisitions

PR paves the path for mergers and acquisitions; it gives potential buyers and partners an opportunity to learn more about the business in a good way. Plus, PR exposes your brand to more buyers than you could ever find on your own. And the more people you’re exposed to, the more likely you are to find the right partner. Plus, companies at the top of a vertical command a premium.

Whether you need B2B PR or a B2C PR  will impact your PR agency choices, particularly if your goal is M/A, but again, that will largely depend on your strategy. Are you using PR to bolster consumer enthusiasm and growth around the product in order to attract more potential buyers, or are you looking for investors who are very specifically looking for opportunities within a particular segment? These are two very different strategies.

Count Down: Pre-IPO PR

Pre IPO is another PR strategy all altogether, and it’s important to have a PR firm that understands the ramp-up and regulatory conditions of an IPO. Whether you need B2B tech PR agency  or a consumer tech pr agency, you need a PR agency that has been through the ropes of an IPO. A PR agency with Pre-IPO experience helps you set the stage during those critical 24-36 months before your IPO. While you’ll want an investor relations agency to develop your road show and connect you with the right bankers, your PR team should be working in tandem  for positive public relations that analysts will want to see. Since PR is a ramp, not a straight line, plan on investing in PR a minimum of 16 months before your IPO – the longer, the better the pay-off. Involve your PR agency with your investor relations firm well in advance so they can build trust and collaboration and work as a team.

Crisis: PR Experts Needed

If you’re in crisis, and you don’t already have a PR firm or a crisis management plan, then you definitely need a PR agency with experience in crisis communications. Crisis management is very specific to your situation, and the stakeholders will frequently determine the who you choose as a PR team. If you’re challenge is regulatory, a PR team with experience in the regulatory environment is critical, as is a PR team who can evaluate the situation quickly, and act fast. An experienced crisis communications expert will be able to guide you through the process over the course of days, weeks and even months – because getting through the crisis is one thing, but repairing your reputation, to get things back on track, is another.

PR is a serious endeavor with serious potential to change a company’s future. Ensuring you find a firm that has experience in exactly what you need means finding an agency who has moved the needle and elevated companies from one phase of growth to the next. Ultimately, finding a PR firm with experience relevant to you starts with knowing where you want to end up.

Using PR and Social Media for DTC Brands

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Direct-to-consumer brands are increasingly growing in popularity and there are distinctive expectations consumers have for DTC brands in PR and Social Media. Instead of buying from a third-party retailer, customers can purchase products or services directly from the company. Successful DTC brands typically have one thing in common: a strategic and effective way to reach their target market and ensure their market will trust their brand.

Utilizing targeted public relations and social media campaigns for DTC brands can create brand awareness, reach your ideal audience, and engage with current and potential customers. However, it’s not merely about posting things on Twitter or Facebook, and suddenly your business makes more money and grows. Creating a successful digital marketing plan means knowing when and how to use consumer PR and social media for DTC.

Why Brand Awareness Is Crucial

If you have a DTC business, you need to implement a marketing strategy that focuses heavily on brand awareness. In the beginning, your main goal isn’t as much about making sales as it is about garnering attention from potential customers, so they know who you are and the types of services or products you offer. These are the people who might encounter your brand again down the road and decide they want to buy something.

Building brand awareness begins with online advertising. Your target audience should be served interesting and unforgettable ads. It’s about creating a lasting impression in the minds of potential consumers and building trust. The more ads they see from you, the more they will feel comfortable with your business. Online shoppers are more likely to trust a brand they’re familiar with than one that doesn’t seem legitimate.

Using Social Media to Engage With Customers

Once you’ve established yourself as a brand, you need to maintain that awareness throughout various digital marketing platforms. An effective way of doing that is by using social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are excellent forms of marketing to target a specific demographic or communicate with current customers.

You can increase your followers, attract new viewers, and engage with the people who are actually purchasing your product. The share feature within many social media accounts also allows users to quickly and easily spread the word about your brand to others. It’s basically like word-of-mouth advertising but via the internet.

One of the best features of social media marketing is customers’ ability to buy things through links included in the posts. If you incorporate relevant links in each post connecting to your products and services, it creates a hassle-free experience for consumers to make a purchase directly from your Instagram page or YouTube video.

Don’t Forget About Your Public Relations Plan

The right public relations strategy can inform the public about a company’s brand, build and maintain reputations, and gain credibility with a target audience. It’s not just about letting people know you exist, but also about letting them know exactly who you are. You’re trying to create an image, and the way you go about doing it can have a positive or negative impact on consumers. Public relations is more than a press release.

Some of the most common PR strategies include:

  • Brand identity

    – Choose a logo, determine how you want your website to look, pick the tone you want to convey when communicating with customers, and pick visuals to use for your social media campaigns.

  • Messaging

    – You should include a backstory about who you are and how you got started. You should also incorporate your company’s values and mission. It’s critical that your tone remains consistent throughout all PR and social media for DTC. If you regularly change the voice conveyed through your marketing, customers will have difficulty trusting you.

  • Events

    – You can host an event or sponsor one where you know your target audience will be. Potential customers will see that you’re a legitimate business and learn about the products or services you sell. You will also have the opportunity to speak with them face to face and build trust.

  • Media

    – Earned media and press releases are an excellent ways of notifying the public about the launch of your new brand, releasing a new product, or a sale or giveaway.

  • Partnership

    – Partnerships can be a significant part of promoting your business. You should stick with people and companies that are relevant to your brand. For example, if you sell hiking gear, it wouldn’t make sense to work with a restaurant. Instead, you might want to partner with a sporting goods store and stock their shelves with your product.

Combining PR and Social Media for DTC Brands

Your brand could benefit from integrating your social media marketing and public relations campaigns, since both can complement each other.

Common examples of integrating social media and PR campaigns are:

  • Influencer Outreach

    Social media influences are an excellent source for promoting someone’s brand. They typically have hundreds of thousands or millions of loyal followers who trust them and purchase the products they promote.

  • Digital Press Releases

    Traditionally, companies send press releases to journalists to convey information about their brand. However, in the digital age, you can publish your own press releases on your social media accounts, through email, or as a blog on your website.

  • Using PR Coverage in Your Social

    When you receive coverage in the media supercharge that social proof and enhanced trust building opportunity by using the coverage in your organic and paid social media. Consumers will be impressed and more willing to try your product.

  • Forging and Maintaining Relationships with Journalists

    You can use social media to create relationships with journalists in your industry that benefit your company and achieve your marketing goals. It doesn’t take much effort to gain their trust and support – if you take a genuine approach by following them on social media and sharing their posts, they might be willing to do the same for you.

Contact Avaans Media

If you’re looking for the right marketing agency to expand your digital audience, increase your return on investment, and successfully grow your business, Avaans Media can help. We have over a decade of experience creating and implementing effective consumer product PR and social media campaigns for DTC brands.

Schedule a call or complete our online form if you want to discuss your goals and determine the most effective strategy for improving your online presence.

Should Your PR Agency Be Your Social Media Agency?

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One of the most powerful and precious assets every company has is its brand. With consumers being more aware of and concerned with the messages brands put out than ever before, a company’s social media channels are crucial tools for them to express their values, reach out to customers and other stakeholders, and maintain their image.  

2018 study from Accenture showed 63 percent of consumers preferred to support brands that they viewed as sharing their values and beliefs, and social media is a way to engage directly with your customer base. 

However, with more and more of the population paying attention to companies’ actions and what they say, your social media channels require more attention and maintenance. It may be time to call in some outside help to manage your business’ social media feeds. 

When you’re taking your brand very seriously then it becomes very obvious why social media strategy, content, and community management is a job for seasoned communications professional whose job it is to stay on top of platforms, trends, and potential landmines in social media.

Learn more about what the social media experts at Avaans PR agency can do for your brand and your business. Contact us today to learn about how we’ll grow your social media community.  


When Should Your PR Agency Also Be Your Social Media Agency?


Working with a PR agency for social media allows you to have your earned media and owned media work together seamlessly. After all, if there are two places you want brand consistency it’s in media messaging and customer messaging.  When you work with an experienced, dedicated PR team that understands social media, they won’t just learn your brand inside and out, they’ll be an extension of it. They’ll work closely with your team to make sure their social media content is an authentic reflection of your voice and your brand.   

In addition, they’ll be able to leverage robust social media analytics tools that will help you learn more about your customers, target market segments with relevant messaging, and effectively extend your brand. 

Here is an overview of the ways a skilled PR agency can benefit your social media presence.  

Crisis Management for Social Media


Your social media feeds need to be monitored at all times. If you have good news to share, you can post it within minutes if you have a dedicated team ready to put that content out. If there’s bad news or you get a bad reaction to a post, you need someone ready to respond at all hours of the day with a well-planned and strategic answer.  

When you rely on an internal team to handle your social media, someone from your team has to be doing that job 24/7, but you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by having someone else take over your social media content. Having around-the-clock support also makes it easy to respond to minor technical issues, such as a landing page that isn’t quite working or a busted link in a Twitter or Facebook post. 

Expert-level advice and solutions

Running your social media accounts internally means putting together a team with the skills and resources to handle that job. Translating social media savvy into tangible results for your company is a skill, and it’s not something just anyone can do. This is especially true if your business doesn’t work in marketing or a related field. In the time it takes to find, hire, and train an internal social media team, you could hire an outside team of experts to do a much more effective job. 

Stretch your marketing budget further 


Marketing and advertising are essential components for any growing business, and you want to make sure you’re getting the most value for what you’re spending. If you’re relying on your own team to manage your social media, you may not be using your platforms and resources as effectively as you could be.  


An outside company that specializes in social media management is more likely to be on top of the latest trends and tools. They’re also more incentivized to help you grow, as they’ll need to deliver positive results if you’re going to keep using their services. 

Outside perspective 


Never squander an opportunity to get an outsider’s perspective on your business. While they may not know the whole history of your company, they’ll be quick to learn it, and an outsider will be better able to see both your strengths and your weaknesses. They can then help you promote those strengths in a way your customers and others in your audience will find compelling. 

Top-tier tools 


While there are many free tools or individual subscriptions available to track your social media performance, these tools are somewhat limited and can become cost-prohibitive once you start using several of them every month. PR agencies have access to much more robust systems, and you get access to everything they have when you hire them to run your social media. 

Let your team focus on essential tasks 


Creating an in-house social media team when your company isn’t in the social media space means you’re taking time and effort away from doing what you do best. Save your attention and energy for other matters while letting an experienced social media team handle that aspect of your business for you. 

Proven Results 


At Avaans Media, we want to help purpose-driven brands find success using our proven tools and methods. Our founding and culture is digitally forward, which means we’ve been a leading source of social media by brands around the country since 2008. By harnessing our strengths, your organization can expand its reach and find new, exciting ways to interact with your audience. 


We’ve already applied our skills to social media campaigns for a number of brands and organizations. In one case, we partnered with a group aiming to improve early-education outcomes for young children in poor families where English is not the primary language. By relying on content with heavy visuals and a peer-to-peer tone, we were able to generate more than 401,000 impressions among our target audience over six months, with an engagement rate of 52 percent.  

Our efforts also helped spur the state legislature to pass more funding for early education programs, especially among younger children in economically challenged families. 

More Articles of Interest:
6 Times When Your Company is Ready for a PR Agency
Should You Hire Inhouse or Agency for Your Marketing & PR?

Contact Us Today

Our team is ready to jump into whatever challenge you have for us. We’re a virtually enabled organization with team members in Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Phoenix, San Diego, Honolulu, and Washington, D.C. You can get in touch by visiting our contact page or stopping by one of our seven offices.