Bill Gates once said that if he was down to his last dollar he would spend it on public relations. We no longer consume advertising with the interest or attention that we used to; saturated, we simply switch off to it. In order to realise their growth ambitions organisations of all kinds now need to earn coverage through effective PR campaigns.
But how does an effective campaign have an impact on your business and why would engaging an agency be preferable to managing PR internally?
1. External experience, perspective and multiple specialities
Engaging a public relations agency can provide an objective perspective on how you are communicating your message.
This fresh approach from an agency also brings a wealth of diverse experience. You are investing in a team of PR professionals who can each specialise in specific areas of your market while also bring different marcomms specialities to the table.
No single PR manager can master all verticals and communications techniques. Investing in an agency is investing in a pool of creative brain power that you can tap into at any time, ensuring that your organisation can think outside of the box in an agile way.
2. Contacts and knowledge of the outlets
A respectable Public Relations agency will have a network of contacts in the media and a deep understanding of the outlets they represent. We are constantly speaking with key journalists, they respect our work and are ready to listen to your story... if we pitch it to them.
Knowledge of the industry goes beyond this: an effective agency understands how to peg your stories into the news and can build a strategic timetable to build momentum for this. We anticipate the agenda of the news room, ensuring that you are the voice at the centre of breaking news.
3. Steal market share
“The easiest way to steal market share from your competitors is to steal the limelight, and nothing does that faster than being quoted in the press” according to Barbara Corcoran, celebrity business mogul. The landscape is noisy and competitive, loyalty changes quickly, hog the limelight or lose your market share... It’s as simple as that.
4. Increase Sales
Driving awareness of your brand, product or business solution in a credible way will increase sales through a number of different ways.
Visibility and an engaging social media campaign will drive traffic to your website (and enquires to your reps), ensuring that you enjoy a healthy amount of inbound leads. Beyond increasing mindshare, an effective public relations campaign will have a much deeper impact on decision makers by building your credibility. The decision making process has become increasingly fragmented in recent years, requiring you to gain buy-in from multiple stakeholders. Coverage for the sake of coverage is meaningless... therefore a campaign geared to increase sales will first kick off with identifying who exactly it is you need to influence and how (through what channels) we will achieve this. Positioning yourself as a thought leader in the eyes of your target customer will lead hesitant buyers to sign that contract.
5. Influence clients, customers and investors
This list would be incomplete without the holy grail of public relations: influencing opinion. We previously covered the importance of influencing the buyer, but this is only one group to target. Through a targeted PR campaign you can influence clients, consumers, public opinion, investors and M&A stakeholders with tailored messages. Whether it is to steer yourself through troubled times and protect your brand, raise investment or successfully IPO, the whys are endless but the how is the same: influencing opinion is most effective through a powerful marketing and communications strategy.