The official definition of public relations (as defined by the Public Relations Society of America) is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
Alright, sounds good. But let’s take it a step further.
I like to think of public relations as your window of opportunity to generate business leads you may never otherwise reach. Sharing your ideas, your company news and your experiences through reputable media outlets expands your brand’s reach to potentially millions of prospects. If your company wants to grow, PR needs to be in your toolbox.
But executing public relations requires someone to do the grunt work. Should it be you? Should you hire a PR manager? What about a firm?
Sure, you can achieve some results through all three options, but here’s why PR firms will give you the best value for your dollar:
1.) Large pool of resources – It’s basic math. When you hire an in-house PR manager, you’re hiring one person and one person’s work experience. When you hire a firm, you’re hiring multiple experts in the industry. While you may have one primary point-of-contact within your PR firm, he or she is able to collaborate with his or her colleagues to generate new ideas to best position your company’s press. The team draws on the diverse experience and expertise of many PR professionals, making the output of work more effective for your business.
2.) Depth AND breadth – Though outside PR firms aren’t involved in a company’s day-to-day business, that doesn’t mean they don’t dig deep into your industry, sit in on a sales call, tour your facilities to understand operations or communicate with you on a regular basis. As professionals, PR firms know the questions to ask to vet the company for news. Being on payroll is not a requirement.
PR firms also have more in-house resources to provide a holistic approach to PR and marketing that extends beyond media relations. From graphic design professionals to social media experts and event services, firms generally have experience doing it all and can execute comprehensive marketing needs for you, without you having to hire an entire team to do the same.
3.) Media clout – Since PR firms work with a variety of clients in potentially many different industries, they are likely to interact and build relationships with a broad range of reporters and editors. The firm as a whole becomes a trusted partner for media outlets. When reporters seek out sources in a pinch or need to cast a net for multiple perspectives on a story, they are more likely to reach out to a firm they know and trust that can deliver their specific needs.
4.) External perspective – Objectivity is key when pitching news and maintaining media relationships, and this can be hard for someone in-house to maintain, as employees or company owners tend to be more deeply involved in organizational structure. PR firms are more apt to look at your business, as the general public would see it, thus able to best position content for media traction that delivers results.
5.) Good value – By outsourcing your PR and marketing efforts, you’re investing in concentrated expertise from professionals who know how to get your company’s message in front of the eyes of potential leads – and you probably pay your PR firm less than the cost of hiring a PR manager in-house. Plus, you don’t have to offer any benefits or payroll taxes or foot the bill for PR software or industry training.
Of course, when shopping for the right firm, you’ll always want to be smart about your decision. Make sure your PR firm….
1.) Consists of smart, hard-working professionals
2.) Proactively works to build your brand
3.) Has a proven history of generating real results
If that sounds familiar, it’s be because those are our core values that we live out every day.
In fact, we’ll prove it.
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