What makes someone a public relations expert? In a world where the definition of PR can be wildly vast, how can one person be an expert in everything? I would propose there are many types of experts, and you need them all in your ecosystem because they support one another and you in different ways. This identification methodology works for any agency. Fundamentally, it’s why agencies exist: to connect you to experts. Finding an agency can be a real drag – and ultimately, what’s most important is who will be on your team. An expert team is the difference between PR success and PR flops. But if you’ve never hired a PR agency, you might be confused about what to look for in a PR agency. Ultimately, an agency is only as good as its team. So, what should you be looking for in an outstanding PR agency team, and what defines a public relations expert?
PR Strategist Experts
This is the most senior of PR experts. They’ve probably worked their way through multitudes of specializations from B2B Tech PR to Consumer PR and verticals. They’ve seen content platforms come and go, understand the ebb and flow of media, and dialed in enough to ideate on the spot while having a big enough picture to discuss plans a year or more in advance. Because they know today’s dynamic communication environment, strategists are typically fans of data-informed strategies.
PR Strategists can also evaluate time/trends/budget to provide insights on what to expect and how to improve outcomes. No one likes it when I say, “Anything is possible with the right combination of time and trends,” because it makes it sound like things are out of your control. They are and aren’t – PR strategists are excellent at reading the tea leaves and providing recommendations that mitigate risk and optimize opportunity.
In short, your PR strategist expert has a 100,000-foot view of the media landscape and how a particular company can stand out.
PR Strategies Experts are defined by these attributes:
- uses data to inform strategies
- defines metrics and KPIs within the context of time and budget
- maintains knowledge of current and upcoming platforms
- understands the impact of current news, economy, and policy on an array of verticals
- has extensive business experience with a variety of outcomes, from raising capital to increasing awareness to IPO and investor relations
Account PR Experts
Account experts see the big picture of multiple moving parts and know how they fit into the strategy. As a more on-the-ground PR expert, they’re funneling up day-to-day information and news to make sure everyone is engaged in changes that may require shifts in the plan. PR Account experts are also most engaged with the client’s brand – they’re the de facto voice for the client in an agency. They should have the clearest understanding of who the brand is and isn’t and can articulate brand guardrails to ensure any work represents the brand. Account PR experts will also likely identify brand inconsistencies and recommend corrective actions. As strategic implementors, they will be the first to identify impracticalities and challenges to a strategy and will work directly with a PR strategist to develop a pivot where it’s needed. PR Account experts are outstanding communicators and are proactive with ideas and collaboration, as well as managing timelines and campaign calendars.
PR Account Experts are defined by these attributes:
- understand how daily indicators may impact strategy
- identifies and mediates day-to-day challenges in the implementation
- acts as a brand defender within the agency
- can identify brand inconsistencies and recommend remedies
Specialist PR Experts
There is a perception that specialists aren’t as experienced as strategists. That isn’t necessarily the case. Our 100% executive-level team includes specialists with 10 and 15 years of experience in their specialty. Specialists love a specific part of PR and communications and focus on it exclusively. Whether that specialty is something like influencer management, ghostwriting, media relations, or social media, the PR and marketing world needs expert PR specialists. They’re the most engaged on the ground, and they can tell you things like emerging topics over the last 24 hours, trending hashtags, or whether anyone is even using emojis anymore. Experienced PR specialist experts understand the ebb and flow of tech; they know how to navigate the details and have tactical solutions and ideas on ways to polish outputs for the audience, platform, or trend. Without PR specialist experts, everything would feel less personalized, on-trend, and ham-fisted. The specialist takes strategy and gives it life.
Your agency team may have numerous specialist PR experts. For example, you could have a technical SEO specialist, a media relations specialist, a social media or community management specialist, or a cyber security mitigation specialist who helps you plan for a PR crisis.
Specialist PR Experts are defined by these attributes:
- deep understanding of platform communication intricacies
- deep understanding of the key players within a topic
- can identify trends and articulate their importance to the strategy
- can quickly navigate multiple technology platforms
Having a team of PR experts at your disposal is critical to PR success. Every member of your team has an important role to play, and every role adds perspective to the strategy and implementation. Part of the Avaans Media white glove experience is tailoring your team to your strategy. Talk to us today about your specific PR expert needs.