In my role at Formstack, an online form builder, one of my tasks is to leverage public relations (PR) and specifically media coverage, that drives exposure and drives sales.
Having experience both on the agency and client side I understand what a good Public Relations firm can do for an organization. Here are three reasons, from my experiences, why businesses, and especially small businesses, should hire an outside PR agency.
- You Don’t Have Time To Do PR: PR is not a spigot that you can turn on and off. Just like other marketing functions, consistent, strategic, and measurable PR is something that needs to be planned for and executed over a long period of time. Just like you can’t turn on SEO, PR is something that only gets stronger as you put more effort into it.
- To Maximize a Launch: Most businesses understand how crucial launching a new product or service is to the success of your business. PR is much more than just writing a press release and putting it over a wire service. Having a partner who can maximize media relations, social media, events, award opportunities and other PR related activities in conjunction with a major release can give you a leg up as you launch your product. But just remember, as I mentioned in point 1. PR is not something to turn on and off.If you plan on utilizing an outside agency for your launch you need to make sure that you have a system in place once the launch is over to continue all the energy and the momentum you have built. The worst thing a company can do is launch big product, have big PR, and fade away without maximizing what you and your agency have spent months developing.
- To Revitalize a Product or Service: Sometimes even the best in-house PR mavens can run out of good ideas. Just as in a re-brand or website redo bringing an outside agency to revitalize your PR can pay huge dividends. Good PR agencies know how to look at a product, service, or company and see something new – something buzz worthy. Something that you think is dead or tired can quickly be taken to a new market or a new outlet and quickly gain legs. Using a PR firm that can quickly dial up their contacts and test new ideas can spring to life a fading product or business. Remember though, even the best PR can’t revive a dying product, make sure there is something there and be honest with your agency about past successes and failures so they can provide proper strategy.
And as a bonus here is one more reason to hire an outside agency.
4. You Are In A Crowded Market: Small businesses who are trying to compete in large, established, or crowded markets may see some good benefits from hiring an outside PR agency. A good agency will be able to develop a strategy that focuses on your company’s strengths and differentiators that make you standout. Often times an agency can help you break through the noise and reach a desired market quicker.
These are not the only reasons why an organization should hire a PR agency but these are some reasons that I have seen from a client and agency perspective to hire outside PR help.