How to win clients and influence people - Part 1

3 May 2010 | 3 min read | PR
Clearly Team

How do you know if you need PR? On the face of it, this is a simple enough question, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses think they need PR when in fact, they really don’t. I’ve genuinely lost count of the number of times a potential client has called us up and said “we need a PR agency.” When we reply with “can you tell us why?”, they’re often flummoxed.

They genuinely don’t know the answer, yet they’ve already set a budget aside and are prepared to pay thousands in fees each month. Whilst we’ll 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 the city where you’re based,’ take a few minutes to really think of some of the reasons as to why you might or might not need to engage an agency.

One reason could be to do with reputation management. Is the way you are perceived by your customers and your peers aligned with how you would like to be seen? PR can hugely be effective at raising greater awareness of who you are and what you do, and in a way that positively influences opinion of your business or brand. Dovetailing this is 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 a threat to your organisation’s reputation and regains consumer and stakeholder trust. What about how known you are in your sector? Do you constantly get frustrated when you keep seeing and hearing your direct competitors being interviewed and quoted in the media of most importance to you and to your customers?

PR can be used to get your name featured alongside your peers and position you on a par or even above them in the eyes of the people that you want to do business with. Of course, you may need to demonstrate that you know your proverbial arse from your elbow too, and that’s when thought leadership comes into play. A question to ask yourself is whether your website’s content is focused on selling rather than sharing?

Are you just trying to tell the world how great you all without actually backing it up? And this is where PR enables you to build trust and increase your profile as a true sector expert and create engaging copy and content in the form of articles, whitepapers, videos, all things that boost your SEO and enhance your reputation as a go to product or service provider.

There’s nothing to say that PR has to be an ongoing thing. Sometimes all the business wants and needs is actually an injection of attention, such as when it’s conducted some original market research of its own. Do you see yourself as an organisation that has its finger on the pulse of your sector? Well, if so, canvas opinion. PR can be used to develop projects that enable businesses to effectively position themselves as leading authorities in their space.

And because it’s getting harder and harder for businesses 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 relevant websites that really matter the most to your business.