There are definitely pros to having a firm in your city. You can have regular face-to-face contact with your communications team, and that firm should have excellent media contacts in your hometown. Even with those benefits, it is worth it to look beyond your city.
Knowledge of a specific market is great when it comes to public relations. If a publicist reads the local daily newspaper every day, she knows exactly which reporters and columns to pitch her clients. While it isn’t possible to read every daily newspaper every day, the Internet and archives make it reasonable for a publicist to learn what they need to know about a new market in just a few hours or days. That means your firm can get you the media hits you need from anywhere.
Public relations doesn’t require face-to-face contact. The Bradford Group definitely has great media connections in Nashville and we enjoy seeing them around town, but phone and email makes it possible for us to have great connections anywhere.
It’s important to have a firm that can get results outside of your hometown. What if your business opens a new office or lands a new client in a different state? You need a PR firm that can adapt and get coverage for news that reaches beyond your headquarters so where the PR firm is located doesn’t matter.
Another key part of a successful publicity and marketing campaign is communication between the client and PR firm. We need to know what’s going on in your company so we can make the most out of it. Your PR firm should be able to provide constant feedback and ideas on what company initiatives are newsworthy.
A good public relations firm is an extension of your team. The ability to achieve this – whether the PR firm is in the office next door to you or across the country – depends on the communication channels you and this extended partner establish. Strong email, phone, Skype, text and/or in-person communication behaviors lead to a good working relationship with your PR firm, not the firm’s ZIP code.
All in all, we understand the benefits of having a local firm (and if you’re in Nashville you should definitely hire us), but it’s important to know that a good PR firm is not solely defined by its proximity to your headquarters.