You might have noticed how certain duties overlap between marketing and public relations (PR), but you should never fall into the trap of trying to do away with your PR team in favor of a marketing one.
It’s true that marketing is directly concerned with driving your business’ sales, while PR is mostly focused on building awareness and growing the relationship between your business and the public-
But, you should never take that to mean that marketing is more rewarding for your business than PR. The two augment each other. People might buy a product because they saw an advert or because they became aware of your brand through PR tactics.
Services Offered Under Public Relations
Before you start hiring, let’s clarify the areas your PR agency will likely handle for you so that you’re clearer when you engage the agency.
A PR agency will help you build the tactics to respond to reviews, create website copy, write email newsletters, and engage with followers, among other things. Your overall voice and message should be relatable with the customer even when your reputation is under attack or maybe especially then.
Does your company have a crisis communication plan? No? Then you need to hire a PR company to help you draft one as soon as you can. You’re likely to go through a crisis, at least, once during your tenure in the business, and you better be found prepared.
A PR company will help you mitigate damage.
The PR guys can get you in the papers. It’s not a full description of what public relations is about, but it’s true as PR does manage your company’s relationship with the media and tries to get you more coverage.
An agency will likely help you handle your social media.
Several things can go wrong due to a poorly written speech. Your speeches should represent your business fully, in good light, and with accuracy.
Whether you want to launch a new product, campaign or movement, a press release might be a good way to do it. The goal is to write a good press release then get as much media coverage for it.
Sometimes, you have to create an event to bring a certain product or achievement to the limelight. This can be expensive yet effective. Your safest bet is to go this route under the direction of seasoned PR professionals.
Your PR team will understand the detriment of shooting in the dark and, as such, will help you research and know your public to speak to and serve them best.
If you’re a big company, then this service might be very crucial for the coherence of messages coming from your company. How do all the employees that are most likely to speak to the media handle certain questions or practice caution on some? A PR agency will prepare your team on how to deal with the media so that interviews don’t end up in disasters.
Effectiveness starts within your company, with your employees. How are you managing that relationship? A PR agency will help you communicate well and effectively with your employees to boost their morale and productivity
Choosing A Public Relations Agency
London is home to many PR firms, so one has to be extremely careful and informed when attempting to choose one for business. Now that you have an idea of what a PR agency will do for you, it’s time you know how to go about choosing from the PR agencies in London. Here are the ways.
1. Know What You Are Trying To Achieve
Establishing your goals is key. The best way to shoot your PR efforts in the foot is to go in without being clear on what’s going to get priority over the other based on your unique needs as a business.
A PR agency will end up giving you what it thinks you need. Even if you’ll be working with professionals, it helps if you give them your exact expectations so that you all have something to refer to when measuring progress.
2. Create A Budget
How much are you willing to spend on public relations? Your budget shouldn’t be too small for your desired results; otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment.
3. Do Your Research
It sounds like a no-brainer, but it isn’t. You should avoid jumping for the first PR company that sounds like it’ll do the perfect job. Know your options on the market. You might be surprised who else can surpass what you think is the best right now.
4. Ask Questions
You‘ll want to find out the following from your shortlist:
- How much they charge
- Their experience
- Who they had worked with
- Results of other projects
- Testimonials on their work
5. Have Meetings
You’ll be surprised how much you learn through having meetings with your prospective PR teams. In these meetings, you’re looking for who has the best tact required by your business, and you’re also looking for which firm has the best “personality” for you.
If you ignore chemistry in your search, you just might learn the hard way how it’s not just about what a person knows, but about how they go about doing what they do. You want a good working relationship you can develop.
Be Clear On Expectations
Be clear on what you expect and the channels of communication you’re going to use. Your success should be as measurable as possible. Nothing spells disaster more clearly than not being on the same page.
The onboarding process should further clarify your communication goals. Who is going to be your main point of contact? How often do you need to touch base? Coordination is essential.
Ready To Hire
Congratulations! You just finished preparations for one of the most important hires your company is going to make. Almost everything your company does is going to rely on how it’s perceived by the public, including whether it gets any sales at all or not.
So, you’re better off investing your best effort in engaging the right PR firm for your business.