It might sound a little biased coming from me, but I’m going to explain why hiring a PR agency is worth it.
Of course, it is in my interest to persuade you to think positively about PR, but the truth is, is that public relations is not necessarily for every business. If you are comfortable with the level of brand awareness that you’re currently at (remember comfort is the enemy of progress), uninterested in attracting new clients and think your business strategy is the best that it possibly can be, then no maybe PR is not for you. However, for the companies that are ready to reach new heights, tap into new audiences and be recognised as a thought leader in their field, PR will be a worthy investment that keeps on giving.
What does a PR agency do?
A public relations agency will advocate your business for its services, products and beliefs to the public. Acting as the middle man between a great company and the press, a PR firm will help a company get recognised in all the right places and be seen by key candidates and investors. A public relations team can assist in all things regarding media interactions, social strategy and content production. The aim is to increase the amount of mentions from a respected third party and ensure your firm is positioned as in the loop.
Unlike advertising, PR is “earned media” and not paid for. Having your presence out there without the help of paid for marketing is increasingly important amongst the public as according to research carried out by Ipsos Mori, seven in ten Brits claim to trust advertising less than they used to.
PR manages a client’s reputation and also helps champion a business as an expert in its field and for the values it holds. Before pushing your product to the media, it is important to have a distinctive voice, a firm understanding of what you stand for and a solid set of objectives. If this is something that you are struggling with, a PR agency can step in and help you establish your message. Getting your brand’s beliefs in order is imperative for capturing client’s attention and competing with other leading firms. In fact, according to the 2018 Edelman Earned Brand study, nearly two-thirds of consumers around the world buy on belief.
Who is PR for?
Companies that are willing to share their views on an ongoing basis will reap the most benefits from public relations. Those ready to bolster their current business plan with strategies for further growth will certainly be pleased with the results that come from hiring a PR agency. However, an organisation that wants to increase its presence in the media must be able to withstand a certain level of scrutiny that comes with it. Companies that are sitting on data and knowledge can certainly benefit by being positioned as a strong thought leader in their field.
Shouldn’t I have an in-house PR manager?
One of the main benefits of hiring a PR agency is that you can get an entire team of professionals dedicating their time to your business. More people means more skills, expertise and knowledge focussed on promoting your firm. A reputable agency will also have developed an impressive list of contacts and existing relationships with journalists. As agencies work with a variety of clients, they will have a diverse set of skills.
At first it may seem more cost effective to hire your own in-house PR executive, however many businesses forget to consider the price of resources that allow for up to date and speedy media interactions such as distribution sites, media monitoring and database tools.
The value of hiring a PR agency
The true value of hiring a PR can be priceless. A good reputation may not lead to over-night sales and but it certainly will help with longevity in your field. And of course, if things go pear-shaped, a skilled public relations agency will help you with crisis management and save you from any disasters!