What do you imagine when someone says, “I work at a PR agency?” My clients think I’m chatting with Kathy Lee about their product, my mom thinks I’m Samantha from Sex and the City, and my college professors thought I would be drafting press releases – each has some factor in reality, but far from an actual explanation.
Public relations used to consist of account executives faxing a jargon-riddled press release to hundreds of media contacts in the hopes a story would come out of the effort. Well, it’s 2014, and now we have to incorporate social, advertising and a whole new strategy for traditional PR in order to make an impression on editors and media contacts. So, while you might still think I spend all day tweeting breaking stories to Brian Williams, there’s a lot more to working at an integrated marketing agency that my clients don’t realize.
Below are four services you didn’t know an agency could provide:
- Speaking and Award Opportunities. Do you ever wonder how a company makes a “best places to work” list? Many people think a group of people judge an array of companies and rank them based on certain criteria – well that’s true – but the panel of judges obtained the company information from an account executive who submitted on a company’s behalf. Awards and speaking opportunities are often a time consuming process, which require company information like financials, goals, case studies and client stories, in order to prove to the panel why that company deserves to win. Why does this help you? Depending on a company’s goal, earning a “best place to work” award can bring in new talent; while winning “best asset management solution” can drive more sales on your website.
- Internal Communication Strategies. Crisis communication, reputation management, boilerplates, and repositioning messaging all fall under this category. Whether it’s a startup that needs to identify the right messaging to reach their market or an enterprise is going public, internal messaging and communication is a component PR executive’s tackle. Why does this matter? Account executives consider industry knowledge and competitive research a must. As such, your PR team will evaluate competitors, keywords, and areas in which your company can fill a need, ultimately pushing you to the forefront of crucial media and influencers.
- Leveraging Created Content. Many companies update their blog, add press releases, share customer quotes and promote white papers on their website. These assets can be used to pitch story ideas, repurpose information from white papers, locate a vertical that may not have seemed to fit before, or provide thought-leadership type pieces. Why do you care? The content is already created, now it’s just a matter of making it fit for that media contact’s audience. Account executives have built relationships with contacts, they’ve taken the time to stay abreast on the contacts beat and preferences. Not only will a PR executive help you find the best contacts to leverage your content, but they will pitch the best angle to secure the coverage. Reaching new audiences helps you locate potential customers. And, it’s nice to get some additional life from content that your employee took the time to create.
- Analyst Relations. Industry research firms like Gartner, IDC and Forrester are the most well known in the business world. From forming predictions of upcoming consumer trends, to offering insight into varies business intelligent products, these firms provide a lot of value. You might know PR agencies can conduct analyst outreach, but you might now know why that matters. Well, analysts aren’t like normal media contacts. There is a certain way you need to go about engaging them to schedule briefings. So while you might pay Gartner a hefty sum from the marketing budget to leverage their insight, you might not be communicating with them effectively. How can PR help? Companies pay these firms to provide insight into cloud computing, business productivity and other information to increase revenue, because these firms have such great pool of resources. You want your business to be among the services they recommend. An account executive can schedule briefings and help you put together pertinent analyst updates like company growth, new features, product enhancements and financials, so they are fully aware of your services and more likely to recommend you to their customers.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. In my second post, I will share more services you didn’t know your agency could offer. If you’re interested in procuring any of these benefits for your company, please contact Lindsey Groepper.
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