July 23, 2020 Last updated July 23rd, 2020 1,261 Reads share

What To Expect When Partnering With a Public Relations Firm

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Whether you run a budding startup or an established business, cultivating a positive brand image is crucial to your success. Executing organic outreach, establishing consistent engagement, and mitigating negative conversations is all part of this process.

However, when you’re focusing on running and expanding your core operations, dedicating time and energy in your work schedule to your public relations initiatives can be difficult. Efforts to connect with the community tend to fall to the wayside, especially when you’re trying to develop relationships without the intensive knowledge required to pull-off this feat.

That’s where a public relations firm comes in.

By using their targeted skills, industry connections, and specialized experience, PR firms can help you elevate and maintain your brand image. This allows you to stay focused on your day-to-day activities, while feeling reassured that your public image is being handled by professionals.

But what type of responsibilities does the PR firm take off of your shoulders? What kind of processes are involved in the collaboration? What unfolds when you join hands with a PR firm?

To get an in-depth look at the finer details, here’s what you should expect when partnering with a PR firm.

Expect a PR Firm to Differ From an Advertising Agency

PR firms are heavily involved with scheduling media appearances and managing public messaging. Due to this reason, they’re often conflated with advertising or marketing agencies whose purpose is to solely showcase your product solutions to your target audience, rather than establish relationships with your customer base.

It’s critical to understand that appointing a PR firm is not the equivalent to hiring an advertising agency. An ad agency focuses on paid marketing campaigns and obtains audience interest through your ad spend. In contrast, a PR firm executes organic outreach strategies and drives audience interest through networking activities.

To expand on this distinction, an ad agency can help you lease billboards, run TV spots, and buy digital ads. Whereas, a PR firm lets you distribute press releases, execute public events, and deliver your brand messaging through editorial outlets.

As you partner with your new PR firm, it’s important to manage your expectations according to these differences. This helps you set the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the value of your PR firm’s services.

Be Open to Discussing Crisis Management Capabilities

When you have a PR firm by your side, the ability to make quick announcements and schedule lucrative interviews can do wonders for your brand image—but rolling out positive news isn’t the only thing that a PR firm specializes in. Reliable PR firms also excel at handling unsavory situations surrounding your brand.

These unwanted scenarios can arise out of issues including, but not limited to, a corporate decision, a product failure, or even an employee’s behavior. Whatever the reason might be, if you don’t address the situation and control the narrative, your brand can suffer serious damage, as a result.

By responding intelligibly and graciously to negative comments, suggesting image restoration strategies, and highlighting your brand’s contributions in the aftermath of the incident, your PR firm can help you avert crises and turn around your public image for the better.

Whether you are bringing a PR firm on board to handle an existing crisis or manage future conflicts, make sure to discuss their approach to a variety of scenarios. This allows you to understand their capabilities and determine if you can count on their skills during a marketing mishap or questionable press release.

Be Ready to Establish Consistent Communication

When you welcome a PR firm into your business’ larger operations, establishing transparency becomes key in forming a successful collaboration.

Transparency is so vital because a PR firm strategizes its initiatives according to the current objectives, marketing campaigns, and product developments of your business or personal brand. If you launch a product or make an important announcement without taking your PR firm into consideration, it hinders your PR experts from properly advising you on the best approach according to market sentiment.

This could prevent you from capitalizing on positive traction or mitigating negative reactions to your company’s decision. As a result, your PR firm collaboration is rendered ineffective, and doesn’t provide you with the return on investment (ROI) you could easily obtain through proper communication.

With this in mind, expect to establish consistent communication with your PR agency from the get-go. Whether you plan to create effective social media content or want to appear on a specific TV channel, being in touch with your PR firm can help you maximize the benefits of your relationship.

Conclusion

By keeping these expectations and their associated actions in mind, you can ensure you can achieve the forecasted ROI from your PR firm. Solidifying a strong channel of communication with your PR firm will not only spark immediate results but will assist you in getting the most out of your partnership on a long-term basis.

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Linda Williams

Linda Williams

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