It’s time you told your brand story — and what better way is there do it than through a competent public relations (PR) team?
Even with the continued rise and influence of social media, which plays a critical role in determining one’s success in the current business world, there comes a time when a business or company needs good PR to move forward.
Burgeoning brands needs good PR to solidify their presence within the industry they operate in, while established brands use it to extend their reach and reformulate the aims and targets of a product or service they just added into their pipeline.
Done correctly, a good PR Agency will go at length to help your company earn media placements that will be working to construct industry equity and brand identity. Ultimately, all this is done to raise brand awareness, solidify your presence in the industry, and in the end ramp up the number of sales you’re able to make.
Potential customers, investors and avid followers of your brand want to be told a good story. Adding to that, the story you tell is what determines whether or NOT your brand will be published.
What public relations do is that it offers you an opportunity to grow your brand, communicate with your target market, and at the same time attract potential investors. And when properly executed, a good PR Agency and digital marketing tools guarantee to reap you huge dividends.
A successful PR is for the most part dependent on how clear your business objectives are. You need to know where your business is headed to get on the loudspeaker and shout about it.
Start by Asking Yourself:
What Are My Objectives?
As banal as the idea of getting your objectives in order before you can even think about the idea of hiring a PR manager, it’s important that you first take some time and develop a deeper understanding of your products and services and their place in the market.
Whether it’s happening in reality or within the confines of your imagination, it’s important that you at least have a plan that you strongly believe in.
The first thing the PR marketer you hire will do is assess your business, its potential, and the set objectives. It’s by doing this that they’ll be able to help you shape up your communication for the best possible results.
Do You Need Direct Access to a Larger Network?
Networking is an important segment of a promising Singapore marketing campaign. It’s the networks that together form your business community.
But there comes a time when these networks reach their capacity – when you have all your business needs sated and the only remaining thing that you need is more customers.
What you need is the right agency to help you think about scaling up your business in a manner you hadn’t clearly thought of before.
A good PR firm will do so much more than get you linked up with the people you need. Instead of randomly networking with anyone you cross path with, the PR firm will be focusing on quality relationships that stretch far beyond the ones you already have, besides lending you the strategic expertise on the various ways you can make the most out of them.
A good public relations agency also gets to serve as a brokerage between you and the media.
As a business owner who has never interacted with the media before, there’s a fair chance that you’ve got limited knowledge on how the media operates. A good PR firm should be in the position to advise you on what the media requires from you.
And since it also understands your objectives and target, they can also advise you on the right media people to work with. It’s part of their job to connect media businesses with brands that they’re interested to work with.
If the agency happens to have strong ties with the media, then they should be able to test your campaign to find out if it really works before they can finally go ahead and implement it. Otherwise referred to as ‘hacking communications,’ the goal is to make sure that you don’t end up wasting your hard-earned cash and effort on something that won’t be paying off.
An experienced agency will be offering the services in form of a suite (or earned media as it’s also described) that includes media relations, content strategy and production, social strategy, and so forth.
The point is to gain influence and get recommended by a third party. It could be in the news, social media or an event podium, but as long as someone gets to shout the name of your brand, that’s PR Agency at work.
PR also stretches to include paid media or above the line media, which basically includes any form of traditional advertising — outdoor, TV and the rest.
In-house Team or a PR agency
Given the option to set up your in-house PR team or hire an agency to help you out, which option should you settle for?
Well, the answer to this question doesn’t come in black and white, considering there are times when it makes more sense for your company or business to establish an in-house support team – a case in point when tasked with the role of offering day to day marketing support that your business needs to grow.
Works even better if your business has specific communication needs and is looking for someone with the experience and expertise to perfectly execute it.
For bigger companies with no financial issues, you can hire a number of PR specialists and create a team that will be working towards a common business goal you’ve set.
But since good communication is one of the most crucial segments of working on your network, you may want to look into the benefits of working with an agency that has invested a great deal in great minds. This is important as it significantly heightens the odds of you connecting with potential partners.
After you decide to go ahead and hire a PR firm, it’s important to keep in mind that NOT all consultancy firms are the same. So the first thing you want to look into is the chemistry the two of you have.
Go through the team you’ll be working with and find out how much you get along with every single one of the people in the team. Do this bearing in mind that these people will be representing your brand. They’re like the face of your company—the people in the pitch and the people you’ll be working with.
Meaning, these people must be able to understand your brand on a much deeper level. They must also be so passionate about it, and ready to run with it as if they own it.
For this reason, you might want to make sure the team understands what they’re up to during the first meeting. They must understand the nature of your business to the core. They must also understand your vision and where you see yourself in the next coming years.
Important things to keep in Mind before Hiring a PR Firm
Hiring a PR firm has never been easy. A simple search should bring you dozens of options, but it takes a lot more than just that to find that one agency that will snugly address your PR needs.
So before you get too excited and settle on any random company, you might want to consider the following while choosing an agency you can trustfully entrust with your company’s future:
As someone looking to grow your business and in the end pump in more sales, your concerns should stretch far beyond what the company does to the results it generates at the end of the day.
While sharing your story in the various media outlets, your primary concern is NOT with the number of people that get to hear it, but with the mentions and interviews, the story is able to attract. In which case, the strategy the agency employs shouldn’t be one that exposes you to the largest audience, but the one that exposes you to your target audience.
The first thing you do is ensuring the stories the agency tells don’t veer off completely from what you represent as a company. For instance, if you happen to operate a restaurant, don’t let the company woe people in by selling to them dating stories.
This is important because you want to win customers from the majority of the people you attract. So instead of attracting thousands of non-converting customers, focus on a hundred of them instead so you’ll be able to at least get 10 of them to take action.
Lastly, you might want to make sure the PR firm is in a position to secure meaningful PR for your company. Not all media hits are of any importance to your business. You want to make sure the media attention you’re able to garner through the PR firm will, in the end, create an impact by bringing in more business. Otherwise, you’re better off cutting yours loses while it’s still early.
The People in the Team
PR agencies usually operate with small groups of PR specialists that they’ll be assigned to each of the clients they get. Meaning, you’ll be working with a dedicated team of various PR players.
For follow-ups and everything, you want to make sure that you’re properly introduced to the people you’ll be working with. Focus on the person in charge, because at the end of the day he or she is the person you reach out should you feel like things are rolling according to plan.
It’s also important that you’re at least assigned one industry expert, with close ties to the influencers and journalists on your target list.
This is one part you can’t afford to ignore, considering the success of your PR campaign to a greater extent depends on it. The agency has to assure you that they’ll be making press releases, offering tweeting support and messaging documents in addition to introducing you to various media outlets.
You want to make sure that the effort the agency is pumping in is actually generating tangible results, and that there’s evidence for it.
Go ahead and ask the agency about how they measure success. More often than NOT, the answer they give will be Google analytics.
If the agency is good enough, they should be able to offer a daily, weekly or monthly rundown of the analytics report, broken down in digestible chunks that are easy to both understand and work around.
In addition to all that, the agency should provide a detailed overview of how the various media outlets covered your brand. What exactly did they do and what were they able to help you achieve at the end of it all?
A good number of PR agencies charge on a monthly retainer for the number of hours pumped in. That’s the industry standard.
But before you get down to any mode of payment, it’s important that the agency walks you through what they’ll be doing in those exact hours, and how the results generated through that hour’s work can actually be tracked.
There’s no harm in also inquiring about what the charges are actually for. It’s also important that you get it from the horse’s mouth about how long they’ll be charging you.
Whatever you decide on, you want to make sure the agency puts everything regarding charges in the clear before you can go ahead and hire them.
Lastly, once the company gets to work, ask the company to provide you a program of their week’s work. This will allow you to plan for the week ahead and set your expectations right.
It’s a Wrap
It’s always wise to remember that hiring a competent PR firm is never cheap, even with boutique PR firms.
A good PR agency will NOT rush into getting the job done, considering PR is one of the many areas that do NOT operate under the one-size-fits-all policy. Meaning the agency you choose must offer a broad stretch of PR services, and at the same time, be able to help you customize their services depending on your current stage of business and key objectives.
Even more important is for the firm to be flexible enough to readjust their program should there be a need for it.
This guide is aimed at helping you secure a competent PR firm at the end of the day. But should there be any need for further clarification or help, you’re hereby advised to contact MediaOne today for a free SEO and PR consultation.