Social media and the digital age have put constant pressure on brands to judge every business in the way they are perceived among their target audience.
With a sea of information at our disposal these days, buyers are more well-informed than before. This suggests that a little slip somewhere can become a huge PR disaster. And as a brand, you certainly do not want this kind of a stigma over your image.
So, if you are already running a brand or are thinking of investing in it, you need to know what is a PR firm or what a PR agency does.
What does a PR firm do for you?
The first step to understanding the role of a PR agency is by understanding what is PR. It is a term that is often interchanged with marketing. But there is certainly a subtle difference between PR or public relations and brand marketing, although both significantly impact your brand value.
Public relations builds and maintains a positive relationship between the company and its stakeholders. PR can have a direct influence on the image and reputation of a brand. Therefore, it strives to create a good perception of the brand among its target market. It emphasizes strategy-based, long-term activities.
So, now what does a PR firm do?
A PR firm will protect the image of the brand and deliver anything that aligns with the client's end goal, that is, to enhance the brand value and increase sales. There could be several reasons for which a PR firm can be hired. Right from gaining more visibility in the market, and building more brand awareness to even defending or improving the sort of standing it has in the market.
A well-established and professional PR firm will offer you a wide range of public relations services. Organization of fun events, holding conferences and press meets with journalists or opinion leaders are some of the activities that are planned often to reach out to the key target audience that includes business partners, investors, customers, and even existing employees.
One of the pivotal roles PR firms play will be brand reputation management. They ensure that a brand has a positive and strong image among the customers, investors, and employees. Email newsletters, responses to reviews, and blogging can be some strategies that help engage with the audience and create a good reputation for your brand.
Nowadays, with the presence of social media, PR firms have started nurturing this avenue for brand image enhancement. For instance, look how Tesco extended support for local businesses suffering due to lockdown on Twitter. It got an overwhelming response from the users and established the fact that they care among their potential target market. Such campaigns are executed by PR firms to maintain a good brand image among the buyers and investors.
Handling Media Relations
It is extremely important to take care of the mutually benefitting relationships between public relations experts and journalists. A PR manager has to depend on the journalists to report certain information, and at the same time, journalists have to depend on the PR managers to provide them with information for reporting.
Before sending the press release, you must enquire which journalist will be right for this story and where this story could fit to gain maximum visibility. Focus on industries and domains which matter to the brand.
Media coverage for any brand gives a credible tag to the brand and makes its products and services noteworthy. It gives an opportunity to convey a message to a broader target audience.
PR firms have to always be prepared for the unpredictable. It is the most challenging part of their job. Sometimes, unfortunate incidents happen and can put the brand in an unfavorable position. A PR agency has to come up with ideas that revive the brand image.
Preparing Speeches & Press Releases
Whether you are launching a new range of products and want people to know about it or going to conferences or industry events, you need to showcase your brand in a good light. Remember that anything you say on behalf of the brand will be considered the brand's identity as you are representing your brand. A PR firm will help you prepare these speeches or presentations before appearing at any event on behalf of your brand.
PR firms are also known for conducting marketing research. You can learn more about your existing as well as potential customers after carrying out feedback surveys. Use a media monitoring tool to understand the ideas and thoughts of your customers and how they view your brand. This will allow you to improve your business with a fresh new perspective.
Event management and planning are also a part of the PR agency's responsibilities. It can host an event from beginning to end. Right from looking for sponsors, booking venues, choosing caterers, and booking speakers to inviting guests, and everything that is required to make an event a grand success, a PR firm can organize an event in a successful manner.
Widen Your Reach
A business grows when you do not just maintain and nurture your present connections but also make some new connections. A PR firm can help you grow your network. With collaborations with influencers, digital PR services, and technical link-building strategies, a PR firm makes your content more visible. And combined with its other functions, a PR agency can improve the overall brand awareness and serve you extra exposure for your brand.
Different Kinds of Public Relations Firms
What a PR firm can do also varies from one type of PR firm to another. Here, we present a few different kinds of PR agencies that you should know:
Product-based PR: A PR firm that is focused on activities known to enhance the image of existing products and services along with promoting the new ones is a product-based PR firm.
Corporate PR Agency: If an agency is focused on creating the public image of an organization so that it becomes more credible and achieves a positive perception in the public eye, then it is called corporate PR.
Crisis-based PR: A company that works to save the brand image from getting ruined due to a range of challenging circumstances, it can be called a crisis-based PR firm.
Public Affairs PR Agency: This kind of agency primarily focuses on activities between a company and other entities like local authorities and communities or even a non-profit organization.
How Can a PR Firm Help?
Now that you have understood the different kinds of a public relations firm and are also aware of what a PR firm does, you should be curious about how it will benefit you as a brand. Let us take a look.
Marketing Exposure by Experts
The reason why there is a meaningful connection between brand marketing and public relations is that both try to show the brand in a positive light. When you work with a PR firm, you will work with knowledgeable and experienced experts who will work towards improving the brand image. This will give you deeper insights into how to enhance the brand image and market it better.
Save Time & Energy
Running a business is not a cakewalk. You will have several things to take care of. In such a scenario, looking after the brand image can be a burden for you. If you hire a PR agency to free yourself from some of this burden, it will ensure you are saving a lot of time and energy for your other responsibilities and commitments.
Achieving Goals Made Easy
As a brand, you will want to enhance your reputation, improve sales, and earn more revenue. A PR firm will enhance your brand image much faster and will help you achieve your goals sooner. Since it is already taking care of your brand reputation, more and more people will take interest in your brand owing to its standing in the market. As a result, the sales will get higher and you will get a better brand value.
What to Look for in a PR Firm?
Find a PR agency that will complement your business. However, this can be a mammoth task. Here are a few tips that you can try
You must try to find a PR firm that specializes in the industry you are catering to. For instance, if you are into the entertainment industry, hiring a tech-based PR agency will not be a good choice. You need someone who has relevant experience in your field. You can succeed in all aspects of your PR when you get someone who has expertise in this area.
You must hire an efficient and goal-oriented PR firm. A PR agency must always work towards achieving its goals and try to deliver the results as soon as possible. Time is money in business. Hence, the more time gets wasted, the more sales opportunities you lose. Try to hire a PR agency that will be aware of your business goals and work in a way that will help you achieve those easily.
So, hope you are all updated about a PR firm and can find one for your brand easily!