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PR Firm

5 Roles of a PR Firm that Will Improve Your Business Functions

You’ve probably heard of public relations (PR) firms, but what do PR pros actually spend their time doing? PR results can be challenging to quantify, but over time, comprehensive and strategic campaigns can improve many business functions and can even boost revenue. Read on to learn more about the five major roles of a PR firm and how each of these can improve business operations.

1.  Develop and Implement Communications Campaigns

It’s a great idea to get an outside perspective on your business from time to time, and PR firms can do just that. As unbiased outsiders, PR firms can craft objective communications campaigns that truly highlight the business’s differentiators and key messages effectively. 

Communications campaigns take a lot of work to plan, execute, and report on. Outsourcing this type of work ensures corners are not cut and ample time is spent on each task. PR firms can also decrease the overall workload that goes into campaigns because they can leverage tactics that worked in the past for other campaigns and their widespread connections with media personnel. 

Finally, PR teams are equipped to monitor media coverage and opportunities around the clock. When your internal team is busy with other projects or traveling for work, your PR firm can keep campaigns moving without disturbing other workflows.

2. Monitor Media Coverage

PR Firm
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The media cycle runs 24 hours a day, and it seems like a new media outlet is announced every week. It can be nearly impossible to keep up with all the chatter.

Media coverage is a significant task PR firms can take off your team’s list. Most PR firms are equipped with technology that can round up all media mentions of your business and other specific keywords. Ask your PR firm to provide an end-of-month report of your business’s media coverage, so you have a record to share with leadership and refer back to in the future.

You might also employ your PR firm to run competitor analyses using the same monitoring processes. Keep an eye on the types of coverage your main competitors are securing, and don’t be afraid to borrow good ideas. You might also use this research to inform the reporters and publications your business reaches out to in the future!

3. Manage Crisis Communications

Maintaining a favorable brand reputation is of the utmost importance, but proactive pitching techniques can fall by the wayside when your team has tons of other work. PR firms can keep up with your social listening.

When a crisis does arise, however, it will be all hands on deck. It’s smart to hire a PR firm with ample experience in crisis communications because, in the worst of times, things move fast. A slow response can often be interpreted by media members as a refusal to comment. Even if that’s not the case. In order to control the narrative of the crisis, you’ll need people in your corner who understand your business and can craft a thoughtful, empathetic statement in a matter of hours, not days.

Crisis communications also require a lot of time for coverage monitoring, responding to media requests, managing social media communities, and communicating with internal staff. If you don’t have an outside PR firm to help shoulder this burden, your internal team will likely have to table other work until the crisis is over. PR firms usually have multiple people on staff. They can shift assignments to deal with your crisis while your team continues pushing forward.

4. Develop Content and Key Messages

PR Firm
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There are dozens of platforms to keep up with these days. Large companies will likely want to participate on all platforms to capture the widest audience possible.

PR firms are staffed with excellent writers and creative thinkers, which makes them well-suited for content creation. You can bounce ideas off your PR team or work with them to create and refine content buckets for any platform, from email marketing to your company blog to social media videos. 

Staff members at PR firms also tend to be on top of content trends, whether it’s the latest TikTok audio or the current suggested length of LinkedIn posts.

5. Social Media Platform and Community Management

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Speaking of social media, managing communities across so many platforms can be very time-consuming. PR firms can help your business ideate and draft content, schedule and publish content, respond to comments and DMs and comment on other brands’ posts. The best social media strategies include tactics for tackling all of these tasks and more—sometimes on a daily basis. This often is not realistic for internal team members. But PR firms have specialists on staff who can make quick, well-informed decisions on social media. So you don’t have to worry about getting accidentally canceled.

Social media community management, in particular, can be a time suck. Some brands select to respond to every comment and DM, while others respond to only a few. Either way, you’ll need to show your audience that you’re engaged and listening to them. Or you’ll lose followers and fewer people will see and interact with your posts. PR firms can dedicate a team member to manage your social media channels daily.

What is the best method to ensure I choose a PR firm that meshes well with my business and existing team?

First, vet your potential firm thoroughly. A great thing to do is to read case studies from past projects. You might also elect to meet your account manager to get a feel for their personality and communication preferences. At the end of the day, you’re looking for a team that fits seamlessly into your internal framework and makes your life easier, so you can continue regular daily business functions.

If you are currently looking for a full-service firm, contact us to schedule a call today!

Marketing and PR

Impacts of Intelligent Marketing and PR on Business

With a proper strategy in place, marketing and public relations (PR) can work together seamlessly to improve sales, public opinion, customer loyalty, and so much more! Marketing and PR are distinct practices—marketing focuses on the selling of products, while PR typically focuses on managing and maintaining a brand’s reputation. When applied intelligently, they complement and can strengthen one another.

Keep reading to learn about the varied impacts well-thought-out marketing and PR plans can have on businesses.

1.  Increase Brand Awareness

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Traditional marketing placements like out-of-home advertising, social media marketing, and in-person events can help sell products. But on a secondary level, they also work to boost brand recognition. PR teams can play off this by complementing marketing efforts with related pitches and other media opportunities. Together, these strategies can boost brand recognition across target demographics and markets.

Brand recognition is far more important for businesses than most realize—according to Liana Zavo, writing for Entrepreneur, “Without publicity and reputation, a business cannot grow in its respective industry.” Brand recognition is not only important for making sales. It also helps maintain and gain market share and subtly impacts public sentiment surrounding a brand.

2. Promote Brand Values

Trust is the most valuable thing a company can possess. With improved brand recognition comes increased awareness of brand values. As such, intelligent marketing and PR strategies can ensure the general public has a comprehensive understanding of a company’s giving initiatives, mission statement, and brand values. These key messages bolster customer loyalty, enhance word-of-mouth marketing, and help keep the top of the marketing funnel full of consumers. 

Because social media marketing provides many opportunities for discourse with consumers, social platforms are a great place to share detailed information about company values. Thought leadership, well-placed op-eds, and executive interviews can all achieve similar effects; the strongest plan is to employ all of these strategies at once!

3. Strengthen Community Relations

Community relations fall into the scope of both marketing and PR. Generally speaking, marketing teams can foster relationships between businesses and their neighbors through in-person events and activations, staff volunteerism, and other foot-on-the-street initiatives. Public relations teams can help tell these stories through earned and paid media opportunities. People love to hear heartwarming stories, and these types of narratives also help to strengthen overall brand recognition and public sentiment, even though they don’t push any particular sales agenda!

Brands can also build their own communities by planning meet-ups, volunteer events, and other activations for their consumers and social media followers. PR and marketing teams can coordinate and publicize these events, which are great for demonstrating brand values in an authentic way and exemplifying that a business is interested in more than just selling its products!

4. Boost Staff Morale

Marketing and PR
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Marketing and PR are not just for external campaigns! Especially when it comes to large corporations, marketing and PR strategies should be applied internally to boost staff morale and trust in executive leadership. Some examples of internal marketing and PR campaigns include the rollout of new mission statements and brand values, visual brand redesigns, and onboarding and corporate education. 

Regular and effective internal communications impact the satisfaction of the workforce, which will directly affect customer service, word-of-mouth marketing, productivity, and recruitment as well as retention efforts. Internal communications can also be used to ensure employee voices are heard and taken into consideration through town hall meetings and anonymous suggestion boxes.

5. Improve the Profile of Executives

If marketing and PR strategies are executed well, the profile of top-level executives at the company will improve. This is typically achieved through securing speaking opportunities, thought leadership and op-ed placements, conference presentations, and participation on panels. Executives who appear trustworthy, educated, and connected to the company improve consumers’ confidence in the business as a whole.

Additionally, on-staff experts will receive more speaking, writing, and moderating opportunities. The PR team will have to rely less on outside placements. Everyone wins!

6. Keep Audiences Well-Informed

Marketing and PR
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Not all audiences consume news and information from the same channels. Employing a robust marketing and PR strategy will ensure you’re reaching former and future customers wherever they already are instead of having to lure them to your preferred channels. Major business announcements, such as high-profile personnel changes, important product rollouts, and rebrands, should be pushed out across multiple marketing and PR channels to ensure the highest chance of informing all stakeholders. This can include but is not limited to email marketing, social media marketing, press releases, media advisories, interviews, and mailers. Marketing and PR teams must work closely to ensure the success of this type of campaign.

How important is it to hire both marketing and PR teams? Can I get away with just one?

Intelligent marketing and PR strategies will not only complement one another, but they will improve each other’s results. Often, marketing campaigns indirectly result in positive PR and vice versa. But choosing to employ one or the other will likely minimize results and weaken campaigns. Hiring both teams is not a requirement, but it is a smart business move.  

Many firms offer both marketing and PR services in order to help businesses streamline their publicity needs. If you are on the hunt for a full-service firm, contact us to schedule a call today!

Benefits of PR

7 Key Benefits of PR to Society

Public relations (PR) is so much more than making a sale. The industry’s work helps build connections between brands and consumers, place important stories into the media cycle, and allows brands to give back through cause marketing campaigns. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Here, we’ve outlined seven benefits of PR to society at large.

1.  Bring Private and Public Policies Into Harmony

Benefits of PR
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It’s easy to just think of PR as press releases and social media posts for B2C brands, but PR is a wide-spanning industry that touches government work, B2B, non-profits, and beyond. Ultimately, the work done by PR professionals helps bring private and public policies into the same sphere and allows individuals on both sides to align. Mutual understanding between various groups and companies leads to greater societal efficiency and less friction, and well-executed PR campaigns can be key to unlocking this level of harmony.

2. Relationship Building

As PR professionals help businesses and individuals tell their unique stories, they leverage their extensive networks. This ultimately leads to building valuable connections between brands and other entities. Whether it’s bringing together a large corporation with a local non-profit or two individuals with similar missions, PR professionals' work often leads to fruitful, impactful connections. 

3. Connecting Customers with Businesses

When PR pros manage platforms like Facebook and Instagram for a business, they simultaneously open up another reliable pathway for consumers to connect with the businesses they support. Especially, customers that have issues with their product or service can reliably get in touch with a member of the brand’s PR team through DMs or email, as their contact information will be readily available on press releases and across other channels. This, in turn, helps consumers feel heard, while brands can keep purchasers happier.

4. Ethically Shape Beliefs and Ideas

Beliefs and Ideas
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Another societal benefit of PR is the industry’s ability to shape minds and change lives. PR pros are often the masterminds behind the news you read or watch, which means they have an outsized influence in ensuring certain stories get the publicity they deserve. They can use their connections and influence to gain coverage for feel-good stories about local non-profits who give back or a local hero who did great things for the community. They can also ensure media outlets are sharing wholly accurate information and that no information is misrepresented by reporters. PR professionals, when doing their jobs well, can minimize false news stories and accurately reflect actual happenings.

5. Improve Media Literacy

With so many media platforms out there—and more launching every day—it has become increasingly difficult to navigate journalistic biases in the news. PR professionals can ensure stories that are published about their clients are fairly represented and can ask for the removal of false information. If a story is especially inaccurate, PR team members can even ask the editor to take it down or issue an apology statement. Indeed, one of the benefits of PR to society is its ability to help the general public navigate the cluttered media landscape and more easily determine which news is real and which is fake.

6. Increase Corporate Social Responsibility

Benefits of PR
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Have you noticed a recent rise in cause marketing? Besides, PR teams are always looking to tell the most positive stories about their clients, and they often push for increased and improved corporate social responsibility to push narratives about their clients in a positive direction. Not only is this good for large companies because they can spotlight their contributions to society, but their dollars actually help society in the process! Moreover, PR teams can and do assist corporations in putting together 401(c)(3) organizations, developing charitable partnerships, planning and executing corporate volunteering days, and more. All of these actions contribute to positive PR and improve society as a whole.

7. Improved Internal Relations

Just as PR professionals act as a bridge between companies and the public, they can also act as a bridge between companies and their employees. They can help executives connect with the people who work for them and ensure that values, key messaging, and employee happiness are aligned from the top to bottom of an organization. PR professionals can assist executives in crafting messages that accurately represent employee sentiment and funnel feedback upward for leadership’s consideration. Happy employees who feel heard will bring greater contributions to their company.

How can I ensure my PR strategy is benefitting society?

Every good PR strategy should include a few important pillars: positive proactive pitching, social listening, cause marketing, and crisis communications. Cause marketing is the most approachable, and perhaps the most widely replicated, benefit of PR. Use your cause marketing resources to support local charities that mean a lot to your employees, and their genuine interest will shine through in subsequent media coverage. Consider asking your employees what types of causes they feel strongly about and dedicating a member of your PR team to research the best organizations to support in the area. If you approach your cause marketing from a place of authenticity, you’ll be able to ensure your efforts are truly benefitting society. If you’re looking for PR strategy or execution support, especially in the realm of cause marketing, contact us to schedule a call.

PR apps

7 Apps to Improve Your PR Productivity

Public relations (PR) moves incredibly fast, especially in the digital era! PR professionals often have to take work on the go, whether while traveling for client events, hopping across town to manage an interview, or dealing with an off-hours crisis. There are hundreds of phone applications that can make the job easier, but we narrowed it down to our team’s seven favorites. These PR apps help pros tackle everything from project management to news monitoring from the comfort of their phone screen. Read on and download them all!

1. Apple News

PR apps
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This app gives you access to more than 300 popular magazines, newspapers, and other publications, many of which are currently behind paywalls. Users only need to pay a monthly fee of about $10, but you can pay less if you purchase a yearlong subscription upfront. Apple News helps PR pros monitor coverage for clients, curate competitor coverage analyses, and keep a pulse on trending news stories so they can pitch the best angles for their clients without ever worrying about running out of free articles!

2. Mailtrack

An important part of PR professionals’ jobs is pitching reporters and media contacts stories on behalf of clients. When sending out dozens of emails a day, it can be challenging to track which reporters have responded and which have not. Mailtrack allows PR specialists to keep a pulse on which contacts have opened their emails and which have not, allowing them to better allocate follow-up resources. It may also provide insight into which contacts are interested in hearing from them in the future, thereby helping the PR pro create more efficient contact lists. For contacts that never open emails, PR team members can switch to phone calls or DMs. 

3. Slack

Slack is one of the best PR apps for keeping in touch with colleagues and clients while on the go. Rather than relying on texting, which can be spotty at best, PR pros can send messages directly to individuals and groups. This means all conversations can be kept in one place—and out of employees’ personal inboxes. Slack also allows you to schedule messages for the following morning or even the following week, which can be helpful when communicating after hours or while someone is on vacation. Slack ultimately helps build better, healthier boundaries between work and personal life while maintaining efficiency.

4. Grammarly

Grammarly is another excellent PR app. Users turn to Grammarly to catch grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. But the app is even more powerful than that—it has the ability to catch tonal errors and suggests significant copy edits. If you’re typing out an important business email on your phone, it’s worth downloading Grammarly to ensure your message is coming across in the most professional manner possible. 

Keep in mind that Grammarly is currently only available on handheld Apple products, but it is available on all desktops.

5. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is an all-in-one content marketing app with functionality for discovery, research, and monitoring. The influencer marketing and creator marketing industries are so new, and there are very few accurate tracking platforms, but Buzzsumo effectively boils campaigns down to the KPIs that matter most. It also makes researching potential content partners much easier. Gone are the days of scrolling through Instagram hoping to come across a well-suited influencer for a client. While PR pros are killing time between interviews or traveling, they can be working on their next influencer campaign with the Buzzsumo app!

6. Monday, Asana, or Similar PR Apps

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PR is all about teamwork! Keep tabs on all ongoing projects, their statuses, and important updates from your phone with Monday, Asana, or a similar project-tracking platform. Most of these platforms offer various viewing formats, the ability to create subtasks, and the ability to filter by tasks that are assigned to you for the most efficient management possible. Other great options include Wrike and Notion, both of which offer easy-to-use apps.

7. Splashtop

PR apps
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For the PR pros that really need to keep work moving at a rapid pace while away from their computers, Splashtop is a lifesaver. This app allows you to access your desktop remotely to grab documents, access important platforms that don’t have apps or browse the web. No matter what tool you need to get the job done faster and better, Splashtop can help you access it!

How often do PR professionals need to work from their phones?

The answer to this question depends entirely on the company and client load of the professional in question! Some PR team members work many events and travel quite a bit, so they may find themselves working on campaigns from the airport or in an Uber. Others can dedicate most of their time to working in front of a screen. Ultimately, working in PR is about being prepared for anything, so we recommend all individuals in the industry download these seven PR apps.

I’m having trouble managing all of my PR apps and campaigns. How will I know when it’s time to hire an agency?

Not only do you need to dedicate time to executing PR campaigns, but the best-laid plans also require lots of research and strategy on the front end, plus analysis on the back end. There’s no wrong time to hire an agency to help you manage campaigns you’re already working on or layer in new ones. If you need help now, contact us to schedule a call and chat through options for support!