Explaining to almost anyone who has not worked in the communications industry exactly what PR does is a challenge. Not for a lack of trying, but it’s the unfortunate stigma PR practitioners have been branded with thanks to the likes of Sex & the City, Absolutely Fabulous and any movie making out PR as nothing but cocktails, parties and socialising the night away.
Unlike every other professional service out there, PR practitioners provide clients with the voice they need to be heard by the media, consumers, industry peers and opinion leaders.
When you appoint a PR agency to manage your communications, they are doing far more than calling the media outlets you want to appear in, hoping the journalist is having a good day and will cover your brand.
Here are just a few of the things your agency is doing on your behalf that you may not see at the surface:
1. They become your 24/7 media monitoring service
Your PR agency is constantly keeping an eye out for opportunities to produce positive publicity for you. In addition to this, your agency is also keeping an eye on your competitors and the industry in which you operate. A good PR practitioner should be able to tell you how your industry is viewed by the media and what the wider public thinks.
2. Building relationships between you and your key stakeholders
This goes far beyond keeping up appearances with target media or industry associations. A good agency is in constant communication with a host of your key stakeholders so they can better understand what people think about your business and what they need to do to ensure this is positive.
3. Keeping an eye on like-minded brands for collaboration
Some of the greatest brand relationships have come from a PR agency reaching out and seeing what opportunities are available. As part of your PR program, your agency should be constantly seeking avenues to bolster your brand and reach your key audiences.
In short, PR practitioners are problem solvers who use strategic communications to provide solutions. By nature, people who work in PR are on the go 24/7, keeping track of the news, current events and holding an ear to the ground for opportunities.
If you want to better understand what your PR agency is doing for you behind the scenes, simply ask them or even get them to join your team for a day. Your PR agency should be more than a service provider; they should be an extension of your team, working together to achieve your business goals and objectives.