Public relations is a very powerful tool when it comes to managing your business’s reputation, media presence, and so much more. When you utilize the correct kind of management, your business can proactively improve your customer’s perception of your business and your brand. With improved PR coverage comes consumer recognition, brand awareness, and ultimately sales.
Public relations and marketing can definitely overlap and intertwine with one another, and many businesses don’t fully understand the difference – which is why it is not uncommon for a business to use their in-house marketing team to manage their public relations.
This is not advised though, because even though public relations and marketing go hand-in-hand, they do serve entirely different functions. Below are three examples of how public relations agencies are leading the way in today’s media-centered world.
Everything from research, to communication, to writing and creativity, needs to be hard-wired into any PR professional’s expertise. There can numerous overlaps between PR and marketing, but realistically your in-house marketing team only has so many hours in their day.
Shaping engaging communications and overseeing media relations takes serious dedication and time. PR should never be seen as basic tasks to just add to your team’s to-do list. Depending on your ideal or target publication, business goals, industry sector – and so much more – the process of PR can be very nuanced, which requires a unique outlook when it comes to advertising and marketing.
One huge advantage of working with a PR agency in South Africa is their team of individuals. Having multiple perspectives on different ways to improve a client’s relationship with the public can be an absolute game-changer.
Working together with an established PR agency should be a smooth and seamless experience. They are there to collaborate with your brand/business, and to act as though they are a member of your team, while at the same time tapping into their own team of experts.
Traditional marketers, especially in-house marketers, can find it especially challenging to switch off their bias. Agencies offer an objective perspective and will know very quickly whether or not a media story has a legit chance of being approved. Despite all of the planning, effort, and time that goes into public relations, editors and reporters ultimately have the say on if a story gets published or not.
The experience and objectivity offered by an established PR team is essential in deciding which stories will be released and which ones aren’t quite there yet. This comes down to the understanding that even though a story may feel crucial to your business, does not mean it’s right for your target publication and audience. Having a team of unbiased PR professionals can help you reach the right audience, the right way.
Effective public relations work alongside other elements of a business’s marketing strategy, including social media, charity tie-ins, or other events. Brands grow with layers of positive conversation around their product or service, over a long period of time.
A successful public relations agency is built on media contacts. Agencies offer access to influencers in the media, which can take your business’s reputation to a whole new level. With time, agencies can establish the necessary routes into different publications and industries. After all, having a variety of clients brings in a variety of contacts.
Having an in-house public relations professional can be challenging because of their limited access to contacts. Even if they seek out the right clients, it will be a brand new professional relationship. Journalists depend on having trustworthy sources, so this relationship will require time and effort to mature.
Now, there is a very clear distinction between agency and in-house contacts. The term ‘contacts’ doesn’t mean a list or database. Anyone can purchase a list of contacts. Collaborating with a PR agency means nurturing media contacts over time, sometimes years, in order to provide businesses the highest reach possible.
One of the most detrimental things a business can do is work with a public relations agency for a few months, and stop when they’ve achieved a singular goal. To stay relevant, editors and reporters need to always be hearing about your business or your brand.
At the end of the day, a PR agency will see your business differently than anyone in-house would. It does not matter if your team has a background in public relations or not. Working with the right PR agency will provide consistency to your public media coverage and could be a great compliment to your marketing efforts.