Working with a good PR agency brings a whole host of benefits to your business, from maximising and managing your reputation to putting you in front of your target audiences, stakeholders, and influencers.
If you want to stand out from the crowd and better communicate your competitive edge, but lack the time and resources to do so, then working with a PR agency could be the answer.
V Formation’s expert PR team has compiled a series of key considerations for businesses looking to level up their press and public relations, and how engaging an experienced PR agency can ensure you remain on the front foot.
How media savvy are you?
A PR agency will have worked hard to establish relationships with specialist media and will be able to identify the type of content particular journalists are looking for. Agencies will understand how best to pitch an article idea and the type of content that will grab the attention of the media and its audiences.
With good relationships comes trust and reliability, and an agency is likely to be approached if a journalist is covering a relevant story or is looking for a contribution or quote from the clients the agency looks after.
Do you have a good nose for a news story?
The media landscape may be rapidly evolving, but research continues to show that the traditional press release reigns supreme when it comes to journalists’ preferred news format.
A PR agency will be able to recognise a newsworthy story or an interesting hook for your company and will help to steer you in the right direction to produce a piece that is attractive to journalists.
Journalists are not interested in product placement or, what they call ‘a puff piece.’ It is the job of a PR specialist to identify or create a strong hook that they know a media outlet and its audience will be interested in.
How do you know you’re getting a good return on your PR investment?
There are many valuable PR tools available on the market now, these include media databases such as Cision, journalist enquiries from companies like Response Source, and ways of collating coverage with the likes of Ace Media. These tools may be costly for an individual, however, a reputable PR agency is likely to have these in their armoury and will extend these services as part of the PR package.
Monitoring the number of pieces of coverage published, and recording each publication’s reach and domain authority ranking allows you to gauge the financial return on your investment.
It’s also important to consider that identifying the right journalists and issuing a successful press release is a time-consuming activity. A PR agency would be able to handle every aspect of this, allowing you more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
How good is your internal PR strategy?
To ensure your PR efforts bolster the reputation of your organisation, you need a PR strategy that supports and integrates with your overall business objectives and marketing strategy. It is also important that all staff are invested, and that this strategy aligns with the company’s overall vision and values.
Internal communication can sometimes be a challenge, particularly when companies are going through a merger or acquisition, and when NDAs come into play, but a good PR agency would be able to inform you of the best course of action for you and your employees. So many organisations fail their employees simply by not keeping them informed of changes, which ultimately results in low morale or a loss of key staff. That can all be avoided if your internal comms strategy is robust and fit for purpose.
Having taken the trouble to build your brand, don’t destroy it!
A good reputation is hard–earned and can take years to build. Potentially, a company’s reputation can be its biggest asset. It makes you stand out from the crowd, gives you a competitive edge, and shapes the perceptions of key influencers and stakeholders.
The simple act of a negative or erroneous tweet or an unprofessional email associated with your business can set a company back years!
Being ‘on brand’, and ‘on message’ across all communications is crucial, and following the company’s vision and values should always be central to delivering your message.
YOU are NOT your audience!
Recognising your target audience is a key part of establishing a brand, and ensuring that your PR messaging is consistent, and your news is being shared with the most relevant and high profile publications and journalists, helps to keep you in the spotlight.
It is important to know what appeals to your audience and to use this information to inform the content you are posting and the platforms you are using. Your audience must be at the forefront of your thinking and should be considered in everything you do.
When things go wrong, how do you keep your reputation intact?
Every company – large or small – should be prepared for a public relations crisis. It makes good sense to include a crisis management strategy in your overall business plan and anticipate the potential threats your business could one day face, to ensure you are ‘good to go’ if a difficult news issue arises.
If something adverse were to happen to your organisation right now, would you and/or your staff know what to do? It won’t just be a question of correcting the problem, it will be how it all plays out in the media too.
Working with a PR agency ensures that you are not alone in times of crisis and that you have support and guidance to help you prepare for, and manage, any potential damage to your company’s reputation.
Why bother with profile raising?
You may consider that you have enough business and that, through word of mouth, you have plenty of customers...more than you can handle! It is a wonderful position to be in. But maybe you’re missing the bigger picture. What do you intend for the future? Do you ultimately want to sell the business?
If your exit strategy is to sell the business, you need to raise the profile of the company. After all, the buyer won’t be purchasing you or your word-of-mouth reputation. You need to ensure that your company is ‘ready for sale.’ Positive PR will help achieve that.
A PR agency will help get your business noticed and in front of the right audience.
Using your hard-earned recognition
Entering business awards is an excellent way to enhance your company’s profile and reputation by showcasing some of the great things your business has accomplished.
Awards can also boost workplace morale and provide a brilliant platform for powerful news and PR. A PR agency can reduce the stress and time associated with entering awards by advising on the best initiatives for your business to enter and assisting with drafting award submissions.
Supportive PR agency
At V Formation, we have experience in all aspects of PR and our dedicated team is happy to assist in building the reach and reputation of your brand.
You can find out how we’ve supported businesses with their PR on our Projects page here.