We live in a constant state of change and evolution. With the spread of technology things are growing and changing faster than they ever have in human history. Many industries and figuring out ways to survive in a changing marketplace and others are simply being left mind. When it comes to public relations, the case is particularly interesting. The field has changed so drastically that PR companies are having to do various things such as offer social media marketing services to compete. As a business owner, you may find some companies that strictly identify as social media firms, but it’s important to make sure they’re well-versed in traditional PR before you hire them. It just makes no sense to have someone handling your public image on social media and another company doing so through the editorial press. The campaigns will be disjointed and it will be harder to present a clear and concise message.
Public relations is all about communications. It can be defined as ‘managing an effective communication strategy between to develop positive relationships between businesses and their target audience. Top firms realized how early on how versatile the internet is in managing these strategies. Social media and other forums present a fantastic opportunity for direct client communications. Campaigns can be tailored to be extremely specific or general as needed, and they can be aimed directly at a target audience. While this is great, it’s important we don’t neglect traditional PR. ‘Earned media’ in the form of newspaper features, magazine or third-party website articles, and even radio and TV features are still incredibly valuable. This type of exposure is based on merit, and people realize this when they see it. It will register with them that your company isn’t pitching to them, but being recognized for value they add to the community.
People often confuse PR and advertising, and while they are distinctly different, they do share a common goal. Having their clients presented in a positive light and developing an image of trustworthiness and as a role model in the industry are what PR and advertising are both seeking to do. The difference is in the process. While advertising companies focus their efforts on buying up ad space, creating outdoor campaigns, and other forms of paid exposure, PR companies go about things a little bit differently. The focus on using the editorial press and social media to get the type of earned exposure we referred to earlier. This takes quite a bit of subtlety and finesse, as strong-arm PR tactics just don’t work. Instead companies have to foster relationships with various media outlets, and show them why their client is worthy of this type of exposure. In the long run PR tends to be more effective as people just trusted earned media more than paid advertising.
Prepare for the future of your company by bringing someone in to manage the image and relationships it has. To assist in your search for the best PR firm, we’ve compiled a list of some of the more important roles played by these companies. Make some notes or save this page for your next proposal meeting. These services are quite valuable and will serve you well in the long run. Have a look:
- Finding Your Audience – Identifying who makes up your company’s primary audience is no simple task. It takes a deep understanding of the public, research, and investigation. It doesn’t stop there either, once the audience has been identified the best way to target them must be investigated. After that, it’s all about directing the right type of content towards them. Clearly it’s a complicated issue. Expert PR firms and social media agencies are prepared to handle this task. They’ll be sure your PR and social media campaigns are directing the right content at the right people.
- Content Specialists – Speaking of content, we should mention that’s it easily on of the most valuable pieces to the public image puzzle. You’ll need a PR agency that is able to curate and post content that is relevant to your target audience. If you can engage them on a regular basis, they’ll spend more time on your various sites, and therefore be more likely to spend money with your company. It’s not about pitching to people all the time. You want to engage them and give them value in your content. A good firm will do just that.
- Managing Product Launches – New products and services coming to the market can be a very exciting time for companies. When it’s time to launch your latest and greatest, you want to avoid a flop at all costs. PR firms will work to generate a buzz about your product or service so that something truly valuable doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Speech Writing – Busy business executives aren’t always experts at addressing the public. Fortunately, a public relations company is. These professionals will write all speeches when it comes time for company representatives to address the public. This will allow them to across in a clear and focused manner.
- PR training – In combination with speech writing, the best PR and social media agencies will focus on training companies and their employees about the best ways to interact with the public. They’ll show them the weight their actions and words can have. In an effort to avoid possible issues, PR firms will coach employees about various things to avoid speaking about or saying.
- Social Media – We’ve already established the importance of social media. It provides two-way communication that can give your company valuable feedback. There’s no sense in hiring separate companies for PR and social media. Good firms can handle both flawlessly as they are very closely related.