PR is still a big unknown – and sometimes a big mystery – for many businesses. And with so many unanswered questions, sometimes it’s easier to do nothing for a while than it is to move forward.
Sound familiar? 🙂
In this post, we answer all the questions you may be too scared (or embarrassed!) to ask about PR. You’ll find this useful if you’re a brand new business or if you’re looking to move your existing strategy to the next stage.
PR is part of A much bigger picture…
Before we get going, it’s worth remembering that PR is best used in conjunction with many other communication tactics, including social media, marketing, blogging, email marketing, advertising, etc.
Any marketing or communication tactic can feel scary when you look to it as your only option for success. If you’re brand new to PR and this is your only route to market then yes, it can be a little daunting!
Here at In The Bag PR we speak to dozens of business owners just like you and we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common blocks business owners face when deciding if PR is right for them.
It’s natural to be wary of the unknown, so we hope this post can lift the lid on some of your fears surrounding PR. If you have more questions that we haven’t answered in this post, leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to answer!
Let’s get down to it…
6 Questions about PR you were too embarrassed to ask…
- “Why is PR expensive?” Building relationships in the PR & media industries can very easily be likened to forming meaningful friendships in ‘real life’: it takes time. The PR industry is notoriously cliquey and agencies (like ours!) work long & hard to form the kinds of meaningful relationships that get clients coverage. When you engage a PR agency, you’re leveraging their expertise, their connections and their hard-earned reputation to benefit your own brand… you can do these things yourself, yet considering the time and effort it takes to make significant headway in this area, you may find the PR is infinitely less expensive – and with a higher return on investment – than if you were to fulfill the role in-house.
- “What do PR agencies do all day?” There are days when we personally talk to 50+ people about a brand: we’re on the phones ‘selling in’, highlighting the features, benefits and unique selling points of a product. Some weeks we can talk 1:1 to 200+ individual journalists & publications about the same brand, generating awareness, gaining exposure and building valuable awareness. We brainstorm strategy, creative ‘hooks’ for new PR opportunities, and spend a lot of time crafting your message so you are seen in front of the right audiences at the right time, with the right message. Reputable PR agencies (like ours!) will provide you with a run-down of all actions completed on behalf of your brand each month, so you can see where your budget is going.
- “Why can’t you just give me the media lists?” This is a valid question. The majority of specialist PR agencies don’t operate on these terms because of the work that’s gone into building the relationships with media contacts in the first place. Just like an established product brand wouldn’t hand over their supplier list to ‘just anyone’ who asked for it. Just like Coca-Cola won’t share their exact recipe to the masses. In PR, relationships are the currency. However, once you engage with a PR agency, you’re on the team and benefit from their full contacts database. And that’s worth its weight in gold.
- “Why can’t you guarantee my results?” Working with a professional, reputable PR agency will greatly reduce the risk of a zero pick-up campaign. Make sure you choose your agency wisely: look for experience in your industry, transparency of strategy & approach and importantly, ‘the feeling’ when you’re meeting with your proposed Account Management team. A good agency and a foundation of mutual respect can go a long way towards securing you maximum coverage in your target market. Nothing in marketing & comms is ever a sure thing… but choosing the best agency for your brand will go a long way towards getting you where you want to be.
- “What happens if I get a negative reaction?” Following on from #4, a professional agency team will help craft your message to get you the best reaction (and avoid a fallout!) An experienced Account Manager will be able to spot things you haven’t even considered – our primary goal is shining your brand in the best light possible. And if things do go wrong, if you’re working with an agency they’ll be right there to fight your corner and influence the narrative in your favour.
- “Why should I pay for PR when social media is free?” Great question. PR & social media work beautifully together, yet there is still a very definite place for ‘traditional PR’ in a brand strategy. Firstly, let’s clarify that social media isn’t really free – it takes time, strategy and consistent attention to gain significant traction and achieve success. Traditional PR falls under ‘earned media’ and a carefully plotted strategy can have dramatic impact on the scale and turnover of a brand. Not every brand is ready for PR, and a professional agency will give you an honest opinion on whether it is the right approach for you at this time. The brands that are ready for PR can see their exposure skyrocket through positive, sustained brand-building tactics.
So there you have it 🙂
When you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, we have packages ranging from pay-for-results to monthly retained services, and we work with clients at varying stages of businesses, with varying goals and budgets.
You call us on 01305 458149 for a confidential discussion on your situation and we’ll give you our honest perspective on your requirements. We’d love to hear from you!
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