Why use a PR agency when you can do it yourself?

Posted by Admin on January 20th, 2010.

The success of a public relations strategy depends on far more than a letter to the editor of the local paper. This article looks at the benefits of working with a professional PR services agency.

professional (adj.) characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession; exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace

It happens all the time. Someone in the company wonders, “How hard could this PR business be?” He starts to write a press release. She starts a cold call letter to a journalist. Next thing you know, it’s six months later and the ‘PR campaign’ has been quietly hidden in a drawer.

The next time you are thinking about your PR programme, consider the many reasons to work with a professional PR services agency.

We take a long-term, strategic view.

In order for a PR campaign to be effective, it must be cumulative. The target audience must view regular and repeated stories about the company, and those stories must build on each other. In this way, readers and viewers develop a robust perception of the product or service offering. With every additional piece of positive coverage, trust in the company will increase.

Professional PR agencies look at an organisation’s overall business plan and objectives to develop a long-term strategy designed to grow with the company. We also monitor progress against the PR strategy to ensure that the programme is staying on track. Finally, our professional experience helps us know how best to communicate with the public if the company does not progress as anticipated.

We have personal relationships, not just contact names.

Anyone who has ever tried to contact a journalist knows that they are busy people. If you don’t capture their attention in the first five seconds, it’s too late.

PR professionals build personal relationships with the media to help us understand which stories are useful and interesting for which journalists. Because we try to only present relevant story ideas, the journalists are more willing to take the time to hear us out. We also track their deadlines so we know the most appropriate times to call.

A professional PR services agency will develop a reputation for certain clients and types of stories. In our case, we specialise in technology companies, so when a journalist is looking for commentary for a technology feature, they know to come to us – and we point them in the direction of the appropriate contributors among our clients.

Clients also benefit from these relationships with the media. The same process of targeting relevant stories allows a PR services agency to intelligently advise companies on story angles and distribution strategy. Our professional and focussed presentations to journalists also elevate our clients’ reputations in the eyes of the media.

The end result is more effective and more efficient for both clients and media.

Just like you, we focus on what we do best.

A professional PR agency has the resources to ensure that the organisation will get the maximum mileage from its PR campaign. Because all of our time is focussed on what we do best, we become both skilled and efficient.

There are also economies of scale associated with focussing our efforts on public relations. Maintaining a thorough media database, for example, is generally not cost-effective for individual companies, while it is absolutely necessary in the infrastructure of a PR agency. Combing through editorial calendars to find relevant upcoming features is a time-consuming activity, but it’s something we do regularly.

“The primary advantage of a niche firm is that the principals of that firm typically have a very strong background in the discipline they focus on,” says Peggy Stuntz, editor of American publication PR News. “They know the media, the competition and the general landscape, and they usually have strong relationships with media analysts and other key stakeholders because they’re the people they talk to every day.”

We keep abreast of the public relations landscape because that’s our job – that’s what we do best.

We know how to present your story so that it will be heard.

Frequently, people inside a company are too close to an issue to understand how it will look to the outside world. We encounter this frequently with technology experts, who may have a hard time explaining their stories to lay people. A PR professional will bring an objective eye to your story, developing it with the audience and objective in mind to effectively get the point across.

Because we write press releases, case studies and newsletters all year long, we know how to craft each new story to truly stand out. It also means that we can quickly understand the key point of interest of a message, and how best to communicate that.

Professionals are called that for a reason. When you employ one, you get strategic thinking, access to a network of solid relationships, expert advice on communications, and economies of scale. In the long term, that translates to the most important thing: professional results.

Contact us to discuss how your company can benefit from a Communicate IT PR campaign!

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