Asked to explain what people in public relations do, will you? It’s easy when you’re a teacher, cop, or nurse. With any of these options, people have no trouble understanding what you do.
But things appear to be a little different for those in Public Relations (PR). You have to keep on explaining what you do and that you do not buy ads or order journalists to publish stories for your clients.
You have to constantly keep on reminding clients that you do no produce jingles or dish out free samples at a shopping mall. And that’s when you’re slammed with the big question, “what is it that you do then.”
PR is one of those job titles that people think they know when they have absolutely no clue as to what it entails. Yes, a PR specialist tries to promote their clients. It’s their job to promote brands, but unlike advertisers, they do not go to the extent of persuading their audiences through unpaid and earned methods.
Whether it’s through the traditional media, speaking engagements, or social media, PR specialists try to communicate to their audience through trusted sources and not paid ones as with advertisers.
To help the public understand PR to the depth of it or if you’re looking for an easy way to explain it to your family, occasional strangers, or even friends, we suggest you begin by understanding the following few things:
PR and its Many Definitions
Try mentioning PR in a conversation with marketing professionals, and chances are they’ll each have different opinions on the subject. Traditionally, PR can be defined as the act of mentioning a company, organisation, person, or brand in the media, including the radio, TV, and print.
But it’s like the word of marketing took a 360, and what we used to know of PR no longer carries enough weight. The PR that now exists is more evolved and well-integrated into the overall marketing and communications structure of organisations.
First, PR can be defined as the process of adapting an organisation to its public. That’s because PR looks at an organisation as a collective group of individuals representing a common goal, and not just a single unit business. The public is an all-encompassing term for all the other stakeholders the organisation relies on.
In the second definition, PR can be viewed as the process of communicating the message of an organisation to the right audience at the right time and in the most appropriate manner and place. And now that technology has advanced a great deal and different tools introduced, it’s now possible to measure the value of your PR effort and how it aligns with your overall business mission.
The third definition views PR as the art of connecting with humans at a much deeper level. This makes a lot of sense when you consider the fact that PR at the very beginning was more about establishing relationships with different types of communities and not just the press. The only difference between PR then and PR now was that the audience was out in the meat world, and not online.
Our definition of Public relations:
On our end, we view PR as a way of managing your reputation. It’s about managing the results of your action, what you say, and what the public thinks and says about you and your brand.
Public relations is the department tasked with the role of managing your reputation, with the aim of gaining support and understanding, as well as influencing opinions and behaviour.
As you read this, keep in mind that an organisation is not limited to businesses only. It can be a profession, government body, political party, celebrity, a public service body, education sector, culture, health, and so forth.
The public is the audience that’s important to the underlying organisation. It includes customers (current and prospective ones), investors, media, government, suppliers, opinion-formers, employees, the management, and a host of other stakeholders.
PR, like we mentioned, is about developing an understanding between an organisation and the public. Understanding, in this case, swings both ways. To run an effective PR campaign, your ears must be on the ground, ready to pick the opinions of the people that your brand interacts with in one way or another, and not just about relaying information.
In other words, you’re influencing the public; and, at the same time, you’re letting yourself get influenced by them.
For a client, PR doesn’t mean much other than getting the name of your brand out there. You may not be well aware of what happens in the PR campaigns. And that’s because you’re more concerned about getting known and gaining more leads for your products and services.
For an agency that understands PR to the bone, one thing they know is that PR is more about generating long-lasting results, which doesn’t come with a snap of a finger. You have to first work on formulating a well-defined strategy and make sure everything is supported by tested tactics that have been known to produce results.
In a layman’s language, what we’re trying to say is that NOT all PR campaigns are the same. Neither will a single PR tactic generate the results you need. Quite differently, your PR plan is only good when it’s engineered based on mutually agreed-upon goals.
What Exactly Does a PR do?
The function of a PR manager or agency includes:
- Anticipating, interpreting, and analysing both attitude and opinion formed by the public towards your brand. That will be formed by you formulating a strategy that you’ll be using on both earned or free media to influence them.
- Creating a strategy that supports your brand with every campaign using editorial content.
- Writing press releases and distributing them.
- Planning and executing media relations events and special public outreach.
- Offering guidance to those employed by an organisation on the issues of policies, responsibilities, and course of action
- Handling the social media presence of an organisation and responding to public reviews.
- Dealing with legislative agencies and the government.
- Handling public groups and other organisations.
- Writing web content for the organisation.
- Handling investor relations
As you can see, the list is endless. And most of the time, the scope of your PR manager’s work will vary depending on the type of PR jobs that they do. For instance, there’s media relations, investor relations, government relations, customer relations, marketing communications relations, internal relations, community relations, and so forth.
What does a PR professional do for Social Media?
PR professionals can use social media as the springboard to their goals. On the downside, it can also stand in the way of their reputation management process.
With that said, here are some of the way a PR professional may use social media:
To Find Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers give brands a unique voice that’s hard to achieve on your own. Thinks of being promoted by someone that your prospective customers already trust. These are people with massive digital influence, and any word they say is enough to get a good number of people to reconsider their stance and shop with you.
To Identify Brand Threats
Through social listening, professionals get to understand public opinions before it becomes a trending topic. It gives you the power to find and iron out any online threat before it grows into a major crisis that could sink your business.
PR professionals are experts at using social listening tools. Their experiences also allow them to understand how social media users think and can even predict the future of their social interactions and where some of these trends are heading.
To Influence Journalists’ Stories
It’s easy to spot a PR professional on social media when they’re addressing a crisis. But most of the time, they’ll be working behind the scenes trying to shape the image of your brand.
When there’s a new trend, journalists always have their ears all over trying to find what social media users are saying. That’s when PR professionals jump in to seize the opportunity. They’ll join these discussion forums and try to influence journalists to view things from their angle.
PR professionals may not get to read the articles these journalists publish, but they do influence what’s on the ground and dictate the direction that journalists swing by. To them, social media is the tool they use to keep their viewpoints or sense of direction in the public domain.
To Neutralise Bad Press
Whenever something happens and a brand falls victim to bad press, the first-place people flock to for more information is social media. When this happens, it’s the role of PR professionals to try and give their own account of what’s happening. They may use the company’s page or direct social media users to another medium where there’ll be more information addressing the issue.
On the ground, they’ll also be trying to engage users directly and neutralising some of the effects. In other words, social media gives PR professionals access to a larger audience. It also allows them to address them directly without involving a middle party.
To Make Announcements
Words travel faster on social media, especially Twitter. With the platform, it’s easy to propagate your message to huge scores of users in a matter of minutes. You can use the platform to announce a new product, award, or company updates.
Using links and captivating snippets, you can easily reach a much wider audience compared to traditional forums.
Does Your Business Need Public Relations?
Some people refer to public relations as some free advertising. But they couldn’t be any wrong. PR is neither advertising nor free.
And depending on how you’re planning to use it, it can also be very costly. It’s also labor-intensive and time-consuming.
And cliché as it sounds, it has one of the highest returns on investment if done right.
Here are some of the reasons any Singapore business should be thinking about hiring a PR manager or specialist:
To Compete Effectively with Other businesses in Singapore
The economy has shifted. Businesses no longer call the shot, but consumers. It’s consumers who decide on how business ought to be conducted. It’s a bigger maze than you’ve ever imagined, and social media sits at the centre of it all.
Plus, there’re so many digital outlets out there that are more than willing to write about your company and help spread the word. You just need someone who’ll influence them in the right direction.
Your competitors are also not sleeping. They’re working around the clock to appear in the news, blogs, and social media jobs. They’re doing a pretty impressive job, and the last thing you’d want is to be outshone in this.
When the press, blogs, and social media posts fails to mention you, that means you’re losing the spotlight to someone else. You’re letting your competitors shine and hang on the lips of your prospective customers. And the worst part is that you’re making yourself easily forgettable.
To Build Brand Recognition
Building a brand is not something you achieve overnight or within a day or two of trying. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a race that will wear you out along the way, but you have to keep on pushing.
Results don’t trickle in the next minute. You have to keep on working and be patient enough to wait for your online visibility to take effect. What brand recognition does is that it amplifies the other results, but it’s not going to happen any time soon, until later on when you least expected it.
PR also works in conjunction with other marketing elements, including social media, charity tie-ins, PPC, and events. It gives your brand the time it needs to grow, stacking different layers of conversation over many years, and preparing your business for exploding success.
When you finally sit back to look at the changes that have happened in your business after say, three years (the ideal time to evaluate your business for PR), you should be able to see a trajectory. Where the trend is projecting upwards, that means you did a pretty impressive job with PR.
To Stay Relevant
If not for anything else, you need a PR specialist to help you stay fresh on people’s lips. It’s the job of a PR specialist to constantly talk about your brand until other people learn to also echo about it.
The worst thing you can ever do for your business is hiring a PR and then fire them a few months in, simply because you haven’t realised your goals yet. The moment the PR manager decides to stop talking about your business, that means you’re on your way to getting forgotten.
A good PR will not just jump into talking about your brand without laying a solid multi-tiered strategy on how they’ll be doing that. They might organise thought leadership opportunities where your company’s executives get to talk about subjects that they’re well conversant with to give your company more credibility.
Another approach would be to create podcasts and videos on relevant subjects to garner attention around your company or leadership.
To Bridge Journalists Verbiage
Most start-ups fail because they take serious stuff a little bit too lightly. While conceptualising a market plan, they simply assume that everything would be as easy as whipping up a pitch and picking up the phone to talk to an editor, and expecting things to work.
It’s not rocket science, but journalists also have their industry-speak or verbiage that may push them to want to dig through your email and read it. Most of the time, they’ll be looking for a reason to delete your mail or brush it aside.
You have to start by evaluating your writing style. Is your writing good enough to appeal to a journalist with years of experience? How good is your command of the English language?
Journalists approach grammar with all the fussiness they can gather. A slight misspelling or misuse of word is enough to put them off completely.
It’s the job of a PR to sell your story and make your business a familiar territory to the journalists that you’d want to reach out to with your pitch.
To Increase ROI
The bottom line isn’t the same with every company out there. For some companies, good returns mean nothing more than making more sales. However, sales aren’t the only measure of ROI.
Your returns could come in the form of more traffic, more engagement, or more referral business. There’s also the issue of one-hit-wonder to contend with. You win a big show on TV, and your sales go over the roof. You walk out of the room feeling like you’ve finally made it. But a few days in and you’re back to where you started. You had your less-than-15 minutes of fame that faded faster than you had the time to bat your eyelids.
With ROI, things operate a little differently. Results don’t spike up; they accumulate gradually until you’re finally able to hit your goals.
Most of the time, companies convince themselves that since their sales are up, they do not need to hire a PR firm.
As a matter of fact, there’s no one major brand in Singapore that isn’t working with a PR manager. You can’t be the first and expect to succeed. The reasons for this are pretty clear and self-explanatory.
First, big companies understand that things could take a nasty turn – and when they do, they’d want someone to work on it with the swiftness it deserves.
Secondly, these companies know that removing a PR manager from the equation equates to making yourself irrelevant. It means that you’re not doing anything to build brand recognition, and therefore losing your influence to competitors.
Top Public Relations Agencies in Singapore
Hill Knowlton Strategies
Hill Knowlton Strategies offers strict PR services. It’s one of the companies that’s always evolving. With a primary focus that’s set on helping clients learn to better communicate with their customers, Hill Knowlton has been offering a breadth of PR services that focus on solving complex communication challenges for Singapore businesses.
The accompany a unique approach, which blends creativity, strategy, and innovation, underpinned with strong analytics of data.
Services: Finance and Professional Services, Energy and Industrial Services
Telephone: +65 6338 2881
Address: Scotts Road 50 #04-01 228242 S’pore
Webershandwick Asia is a world-renowned communication and digital marketing firm. The company is however quick to point out that their services stretch far and wide than that.
They have a strong work culture that’s data-driven, and which sees to it that they’re able to analyse, strategise, navigate, integrate, and establish deeper engagements that go at length to create long-lasting results for their clients.
Services: Public Relations, Digital Marketing, B2B Marketing
Telephone: +65 6825 8000
Address: 40A Orchard Road 068895 Singapore
Ellerton and Co.
Ellterton specialises in offering PR services to companies in Southeast Asia, not just Singapore. Other than that, the company is actively involved in the delivery of a broad range of other marketing-related services such as digital marketing, media engagement, and social media marketing, to name a few.
The company has also managed to work with businesses of varying sizes including start-ups, SMEs, and even multi-national corporations.
Services: corporate communication, Media relation
Telephone: +65 6247 7325
Address: 267 Joo Chiat Rd #02-02 427521 Singapore
Hoffman Singapore was opened in 1996. At the time it served as the only international office for Hoffman Agency and a base for clients in Australia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The company covers one of the widest clienteles spanning a diverse range of organisations including special interest NGOs, public sector giants, fortune 500, SMEs, mid-sized players, and large multi-national corporations.
Services: Public Relations
Telephone: +65 6361 0250
Address: North Bridge Rd 331 Odeon Towers #10-06 Singapore 188720
McGallen and Bolden
McGallen is one of the oldest PR firms in Singapore, having first stepped into the scene in 1991. At the time, it only served as a tech B2B PR firm, but it would soon grow to also serve B2C, non-profits, governments, sports, and lifestyle, lifestyle & fashion, etc.
McGallen services go beyond PR to full-service digital marketing solutions. They’re really good with what they do because they have a media and journalistic background that has grown over the years. They also have a rick network of media personalities and strategic partners in Asia Pacific.
Services: Digital Marketing, Public Relations
Telephone: +65 6324 6588
Address: Maxwell Rd, 20 #04-01F Maxwell House SG, Singapore 069113
Brand Inc’s venture into the wold of PR was born out of passion 15 years ago. The company prided itself in being exposed to the latest trends even before they hit the online streets. Their social listening skills are up to snuff and super alert.
Most of their clients describe them as super-intuitive or just lucky, but the company is quick to point out that they’re more of analytical trendsetters. During their 15-year tenure, the company has managed to work with some of the most iconic brands in Singapore, including Oasis Hotels, Whisky Live Singapore, Wacoal, Sofitel SO, and Bang & Olufen to name a few.
Services: Public Relations
Telephone: +65 6223 1866
Address: Foch Rd 27 #05-02/03 Hoa Nam Building 209264 Singapore
Mutant Communications is one of the leading PR agencies in Singapore. This agency has one of the most powerful track records in highly tailored PR, digital marketing strategy, and content marketing in Singapore, and in extension Southeast Asia.
The agency believes in working closely with brands in helping them get their message heard loud and clear. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to share your information with media, staging memorable events, or building thought leaders and connecting brands. Mutant Communications has been in the industry long enough to know what works and what does.
Services: Content Marketing, Media Training, Public Relation, social media, Thought Leadership
Telephone: +65 6221 7239
Address: 41 Craig Rd 089679 Singapore
PR Communication is a well-recognized boutique PR firm in Singapore. For more than 25 years, PR Communications has been working with varied brands in helping them set result-driven PR campaigns in the country, and the results have been nothing short of spectacular.
Their speciality includes crisis management, corporate reputation, brand & lifestyle marketing, eco PR, and issue management.
PR Communications also has one of the most convincing track records, and have been recognised on several occasion for doing impressive PR work.
Services: Digital Marketing, Public Relations
Telephone: +65 6227 2135
Address: 20 Cross Street China Court#02-09/10 Singapore 048422
Edelman operates with a team of 120 qualified and experienced communicators specialising in digital marketing, content strategy, crisis & issue management, corporate & public affairs, financial communications, and health & sciences.
The company has worked with all types of businesses, from emerging ones to Multi-national corporations. Their services are also not restricted to Singapore only, but the entire Asia Pacific region.
Services: Financial Services, Talent Services
Telephone: +65 6733 1110
Address: 15 Beach Rd Beach Center,04-01 Singapore 189677
East West Pr
East-West is an independent PR agency founded in 1995. It has offices in both Asia and the UK. Their site says it all. As it is, East-West is not afraid to share ideas and information on content-centric digital communications and traditional media relations on their site.
Ever since they stepped into the world of marketing, the agency has been helping businesses from all across Asia share their propositions with key stakeholders.
Services: international Relations
Telephone: +65 6222 0306
Address: 12 Purvis St Singapore188591
These Are The Top Online PR Agencies
Online PR agencies specialise in the online reputation management of their clients who may:
- be maligned by competitors
- have biased, fraudulent, untrue claims about them published online
- have negative press releases, news and forum postings besmirching their good name
- factual but unpleasant news about them involving scandals, convictions, negative publicity
These online PR agencies act to:
- provide social listening to ascertain what the market is saying about them
- create positive and neutral news and postings to drown out the negative postings
- use SEO to push the negative stuff many pages from the glaring spotlight of 1st page
Let us shift gears and look at top agencies who help their clients look good online in Singapore.
MediaOne is an award-winning digital marketing agency in Singapore. It’s also one of the leading providers of reputation management services in the country.
The company focus on providing exceptional strategic counsel, and hands-on support to businesses in Singapore. Their focus is on delivering solutions to the marketing problems and challenges the business community in Singapore faces.
The company is able to achieve this and so much more through the help of the talented team of creative professionals with enthusiasm to implement marketing strategies that yield results.
Services: SEO, Web Development, PPC, Web Design
Telephone: +65 6789 9852
Address: Craig Rd 4B Singapore 089664
Digital Marketing Agency
Digital Marketing Agency has more than two decades of experience serving different companies from all across the world in PR. They recently opened an office in Singapore, with which they have been using to provide brand positioning, media relations, social media analysis, web designing, public outreach, and marketing services to both small and mid-sized businesses.
DMA has a department that’s strictly dedicated to managing their clients’ reputation. Their aim is to help business brands from all parts of Singapore maintain a positive reputation on social media and in search results. They’re able to do this by building a strong online presence across different social media channels.
Services: PPC, Web Design, SEO, Reputation manager
Telephone: +1 800 569 2754
Address: level 18, 20 and 21 Collier Quay 16, 049318 Singapore
Marketing Agency is a multi-national boutique marketing and reputation management firm with an office in Singapore. The company’s expertise touches on marketing, PPC, SEO, content marketing, and reputation management, to mention a few.
Founded in 2007, the company offers PR as one of their core services. With this service, the company focuses on creating a positive brand image and protecting it using different digital marketing initiatives.
Services: SEO, Web Design, PPC, Digital Marketing
Telephone: +1862 229 1681
Address: One Gateway Center 2600 Suite Newark NJ 07102,USA
Locus T Online
Locus T Online has one of the most committed PR teams in Singapore. This team has been known to provide state-of-the-art reputation management solutions using a no-nonsense approach that focuses on nothing but results.
The company is focused on generating cost-effective results for every single one of their clients, using strategic tools and services that are meant to help your business grow. The company stands out for offering a broad selection of top of the shelves services that address different business needs.
The aim is to help brands learn to think big and figure out how to enhance their online presence, brand recognition, and consumer trust, among many other things.
Services: SEO, Web Design, PPC, Reputation Manager
Telephone: +65 6295 5770
Address: Menara Amfirst, Level 2 and 17 Jalan 19/3 Selangar, Petaling Jaya
NotionAge is a top, full-service interactive and online marketing agency in Singapore. The company has been in the business of marketing since 2001, specialising in a wide selection of digital marketing services, including SEO, Web design, and reputation management.
Their modus operandi is to help Singapore businesses connect with their target audience using out-of-the-box thinking and modern innovations. This marketing firm has one of the most creative and enthusiastic teams of marketers with in-depth experience in all the major aspects of digital marketing.
Services: SEO, Reputation Management, Web Design
Telephone: +65 6438 8303
Address: 331 Beach Rd 199562 Singapore
iClick Media creates and executes strategic marketing solutions from its two offices in Singapore. It’s a full-fledged digital marketing agency that first stepped into the marketing scene in 2011.
The company’s expertise stretches far and wide, but its key area focus includes Google AdWords, Google Analytics, content management system, social media training, and reputation management among others.
Services: PPC, Link Building, SEO, Web Design
Telephone: +65 6362 0041
Address: Mac Pherson road 246 #02-01 Betime Building, Singapore 348578
Easy Business Needs
Easy business focuses on cleaning a negative brand image. Their PR services try to help businesses in Singapore address bad press. They’re the agency to hire if you’re looking for someone to deal with negative comments that users have been leaving on social media and various online platforms.
The company also strives to increase your brand awareness and monitor cases of false representation of your brand. Overall, the company is all about helping businesses maintain a positive image and stay relevant.
Services: SEO, Link Building, Reputation Management, Local SEO
Address: Human touch #02-03 Aquarious 21 Science Park Rd 117628 Singapore
Awebstar is a well-known digital marketing agency in Singapore. It’s among the few agencies that can confidently say they have played part in the successful growth of so many companies and businesses in Singapore.
The company stands out for raising the digital marketing bar really high. In their words, the company only wants to make you a successful pillar in their line work. They have the experience, the technical expertise, and a committed team that’s obsessed with your success. There’s no way this agency is all hype on this.
Services: Web Development, Reputation Management, Web Design, SEO
Telephone: +65 6909 9163
Address: Raffles Place 03 #08-01B Bharat Building 048617 Singapore
ClickTrue is a full-service digital marketing and reputation management agency in Singapore. Besides helping you market your business online; the company specialises in marketing communication and brand strategy.
The company works very closely with its clients in delivering varying levels of digital marketing solutions, including SME Solutions, B2B solutions, web design, crisis management, social media strategy, conversion and optimisation, and so on.
Services: SEO, Reputation Management
Telephone: +65 6950 3366
Address: Toa Payoh North 998 #03-25 318993 Singapore
First Page was started in 2011. Less than a decade down the line, and it’s grown to be one of the leading providers of digital solutions in the country. The company has one of the most proficient teams of marketers, boasting vast industry knowledge and cutting-edge technologies that they’ll be using to market your business and give it an edge.
The company’s full range of digital marketing services includes SEO, PPC, reputation management, social media advertising, and content production to name a few.
Service: SEO, Reputation Management, PPC
Telephone: +65 6270 2193 Address: 144 #20-01 Robison Road 068908 Singapore
We tried listing the best PR agencies in Singapore. But it bears mentioning that this list is in no way exhaustive. We’re sure there exist hungrier PR firms out there that are equally innovative or even more. You’re at this moment invited to submit your recommendation, and we’ll review it in detail, and if it’s good enough as you claim, we’ll secure a slot for it on the list.
What’s more? Well, talk to us. Or give us a call to talk to our PR specialists at MediaOne, and let’s help you publicise your business or brand with the enthusiasm it deserves.