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On the face of it, this is a simple enough question. But you would be surprised at how many businesses think they need PR when in fact they don’t.
I have lost count of the number of times a potential client has called us up to say, ‘We need a PR agency’. When we reply with, ‘Can you tell us why?’ they are flummoxed – they don’t know the answer. Yet they’re prepared to pay thousands in fees each month. Whilst we’d gladly take their money, we also want to do some good stuff for our fees.
So, before you go all gung-ho and speedily Google “PR agencies in Bath, Bristol or London” for example, take a few minutes to really think of some of the reasons as to why you might (or might not) need to engage a PR agency:
- Reputation management: Is the way you are perceived by your customers and peers aligned with how you would like to be? PR can be used to raise greater awareness of who you are and what you do in a way that positively influences opinion of your business or brand.
- Crisis management: Damage to your organisation’s reputation can manifest itself in many ways, from loss of trust and respect to employee abandonment and plummeting sales. PR can be used to clearly communicate your message in a way that mitigates the threat to your organisation’s reputation and regains consumer and stakeholder trust.
- Media relations: How ‘known’ are you within your sector, do you get frustrated when constantly seeing and hearing competitors quoted and interviewed in the media of most importance to you and your customers? PR can be used to get your name featured alongside your peers and position on a par (or above) them in the eyes of the people you want to do business with.
- Outreach: Wish you had the nation’s top journalists and editors coming to you? Keep wishing because that rarely happens, even for those super-sexy luxury brands. PR can be used to increase awareness of who you are with the most influential journalists working in the media that your market ‘hangs out’ with. So, when they’re penning their next article or scheduling interviews on the radio or TV, they know which PR agency to call for a spokesperson from your company.
- Thought leadership: Is your website focused on selling rather than sharing, and does it show how you know your arse from your elbow or are you just trying to tell the world how great you are without backing it up? PR people are great writers. They can build trust, increase your profile as a true sector expert, and create engaging copy and content in the form of articles, whitepapers, guides, and videos that boost your SEO, drives lead generation, and enhances your reputation as a go-to product or service provider.*
- Original research: Do you see yourself as an organisation that has its finger on the pulse of your sector? If so, canvass opinion. PR can be used to develop market research projects that enable businesses to effectively position themselves as leading authorities in their space. And because it is getting harder and harder for business and brands to generate media coverage, having original research at your fingertips can see you cut through the noise and be covered in the publications and websites that matter most.
If you have any questions or need a steer on your organisation’s PR, feel free to email me directly anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Research conducted by Clearly and involving over 500 CEOs and MDs found that 1 in 5 people buy from a business after consuming thought leadership content that resonated with them. See full analysis here: https://www.clearlypr.co.uk/research/