Publicity can benefit your brand in many different ways. It can help you attract new customers, gain ground on your competitors, and expand your reach beyond your wildest imaginations. But (good) publicity doesn’t come by chance — it’s usually the result of an extensive public relations (PR) exercise. This is why leading brands all around the world rely on PR firms.
Granted, it can be hard to justify this kind of initiative when you’re already struggling to foot your marketing bill. But PR plays a different role from advertising. While the latter focuses on promoting products for revenue purposes, the former works to build an objective conversation around the brand. Public relations firms provide a myriad of services towards that end.
Getting featured on mainstream media is the easiest — and arguably most effective — way to build public visibility for your brand. Of course, you’ll need to court the attention of an established media house and convince them on the merit of your story first. That’s where a media relations service would come in.
Media relations defines the way a brand interacts with the media industry. A PR agency can help you cultivate positive relationships with journalists (and media houses) in order to build credibility. More importantly, they will work on your brand’s core messaging to come up with compelling stories that are worthy of coverage.
Most firms provide executive training as part of media relations. Here, PR experts train the entity’s senior staff on how to handle communications with the press. This ensures the brand’s reputation is upheld when the firm’s own staff cannot step in on behalf of the executives.
Once a brand grows past a certain point, it becomes necessary to contract a PR firm for their public affairs. Under this arrangement, the firm will help their client navigate legal and political challenges when venturing into new environments. They may also craft the brand’s social responsibility strategy and pinpoint appropriate causes to support.
While marketing has traditionally been considered a separate discipline from PR, the line between the two has blurred in recent years. The larger majority of PR agencies now offer marketing services. And while the range may vary across agencies, most of them specialize in:
-Content marketing: A PR agency can handle everything from content research and creation to distribution.
-Social media management: This involves managing a brand’s presence across various social platforms. The firm will usually post content on behalf of their client and reply to audience feedback as well.
-Influencer relations: Much like media relations, this service is focused on helping brands build credibility with social influencers.
-Experiential marketing: Public relations firms often help brands connect directly with consumers through events.
Crises come in many different shapes and forms; think sudden accidents, high-profile lawsuits, product recalls etc. A PR firm will usually take charge of their client’s communications to ensure their reputation stays intact — or at least minimize the damage to a minimum. Thereafter, the agency will work with the brand to rebuild credibility and trust within the community.