Commercial success or failure can rest on the way a company is perceived. Effective public relations (PR) will increase the bottom line by generating sales. It will also build your reputation and allow you to communicate with the public. But when is the best time to use it?

PR explained

PR offers a way for companies or organisations to raise their profile through the media. PR agencies work with journalists to ensure their client receives positive exposure in the press.

Whether you are a small business wanting to grow, an established company looking to move into new markets, or a public organisation wanting to get your message across, PR can play an important role.

Launching a new venture

PR will generate a buzz around a launch. News and features work to inform potential customers about new products and services. A creative campaign will also generate excitement and create demand. However, devising and preparing for a strategic campaign takes time. It is important to begin planning the campaign months before the launch.

Attracting new business or investment

PR can help your company grow. It can generate new business and attract investment. But for this to be effective the campaign needs to be cleverly targeted. Coverage needs to be focused on publications that potential clients read and respect.

Tips on employing a PR agency

You can conduct a PR campaign in-house. However, if you have the budget, you will get better results from employing a PR agency. A good company will generate maximum exposure for you and will protect your image.

PR sometimes has a bad reputation and unfortunately in some cases this image is deserved. Choosing the right company is vital – make sure you know what you are going to get for your money.

Choose people you can work with

They may not be based in your building, but you’ll find yourself regularly on the phone to your PR company. You need to work well together.

Choose a straight-talking company

PR also has a reputation for being vague and using jargon. You will get better results if you choose a company that uses plain English.

Look for creativity

Creativity is perhaps a PR agency’s most important skill. A good agency will always be able to find ways of getting you positive coverage, even if you haven’t got any news to announce.

Keep focused

Focus on strategic activity. Sending out untargeted press releases will attract a journalist’s attention but not in a positive way. Receiving irrelavant news annoys journalists and can actually put them off ever writing about you.

Whether conducting a PR campaign in-house or outsourcing, there is never a bad time to start. The key is to define your objectives and make sure all efforts are focused on these goals.

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