Anyone who has worked in a Public Relations agency can attest to being asked, quite often, what PR entails. Those who are interested in getting into the industry or working with industry professionals often have an undefined knowledge as to what the field is about.
Still, everyone knows the importance of PR, especially given the fact that PR has evolved to cover such a wide net of services (i.e. social media, SEO, etc) which is why all of the top brands in an array of industries with PR in some capacity to assist them with an array of services such as branding, media relations, social media, and more.
Public Relations is a necessity in the business of media as it builds improves a brand or company’s relationship with the public. And seeing as how the public is more often than not their consumer, having an established and positive relationship with them is key to sales and thus success.
For this reason, it is important everyone have an understanding of what PR firms do. Let’s take a look.
PR firms build your brand
The main service that PR agencies offer are brand management. The public image of a brand is extremely important in the success of the company.
Publicists are trained and professional storytellers. They take a brand, work with its vision and goals to achieve a representation that is effective to the outreach of a specific audience. This requires a story that will help shape and outline the brand’s intended message.
PR firms focus on set categories of service, ranging from lifestyle, fashion, technology, luxury, beauty, celebrity, travel, and so on. They have a clientele from either one, two, or more of these various sectors.
It is important to work with a PR firm that specializes in an area that will enhance the structure of the brand.
Negating bad publicity
PR firms have the authority to manage the messages a business is portraying to the public. This is an important role in the appearance of a brand’s image. The saying “all publicity, is good publicity” can only go so far once the message of a brand is tainted.
Publicists are communication professionals and know that every move a brand makes contributes to its overall representation.
In most cases, bad publicity can be altered to benefit the exposure of the business just as well as good publicity.
A good PR firm will know how to negate all types of publicity for the brand, whether it is good or bad, to benefit the brand’s image. All it takes is a reroute and some edits in the overall story.
Spreading the word
A successful PR firm has all the right connections, tools and proper understanding of the systems necessary to disseminate any information a company needs for coverage and promotion.
Allowing a PR firm to manage how the news is spread, whether it is a consolidation move, a new product release, or a campaign announcement, will ensure the story is seen by all the right people.
Consultations on the progression of the business
A good agency will be a potent tool in determining the progress of a business and what can be improved to evolve the brand’s direction.
If a brand entrusts their PR team, its image will become clearer, unnecessary publicity will be avoided, and its exposure will increase.
Events are a great way to increase brand exposure by bringing together consumers and businesses, involving the general public, and inviting influential people in media for more coverage.
Events can range from assisting with the coordination of a pop-up shop for an emerging designer, or a gala dinner filled with important individuals for a political party, to a launch party for a new makeup line by a B-list celebrity. Whatever the event may be, its aim is to spread the message about the brand to the public.
They find & foster relationships with the right influencers
The consumers of goods and services are the individuals that brands want to market.
The best way to increase consumer activity is by having those with an established brand represent a business’s product.
With the influx of social media and its impact, many bloggers, celebrities, or anyone with a popular media following are often labeled as “influencers”. These influencers are sent products from PR firms to post and give a review of it on their media profile.
Due to their credibility and connection to the everyday consumer, they have a huge impact on spreading the word for a brand.
The value of credibility
PR companies are all about FREE coverage. They do not buy ads. They do not write stories for news people. They are not responsible for putting up billboards. They do not just come up with catchy phrases or commercials. For this, you are looking for an Advertising Agency (also important, but not nearly the same thing as PR).
PR firms seek to promote businesses or individuals mostly through editorial coverage, in what is known as “free media”, where stories are pushed to appear on websites, dailies and television programs as compared to adverts which have to be paid.
But because the exposure resulting from PR is not paid for, consumers are much more inclined to respond positively; hearing from the media (who they often look to for advice or information), is MUCH more valuable that paid for ads.
PR firms have the primary goals of promoting their clients to prospective customers and projecting the best possible image of them to the public. That, however, does not grant them the freedom to create a picture based on falsehoods. PR firms should be as truthful as possible to whoever they are sharing their message with to protect their integrity and that of their clients also.
The importance of PR
Public relations is invaluable. PR firms help you to create, build up, and maintain your credibility and place in the market. Through a variety of techniques, they work with you to ensure that they tell your story through trusted intermediaries who are well placed to talk to your target audience.
It is so important to understand what PR firms do, and how they can help your brand or company. As Bill Gates said,
“If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”
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