PR trends

R Public Relations Firm has been recognized among the 10 best Public Relations Firms in Austin, New York and San Antonio in 2021 by DesignRush Marketplace.

After evaluating and analyzing RPR’s performance with some of the most prominent brands in the US, the online platform gave the company a spot among the most reputable agencies in San Antonio. 

R Public Relations (RPR) was founded in 2008 by Emily Reynolds Bergh, an experienced and seasoned publicist who has worked with top name media companies and secured press in The New York Times, Food and Wine Magazine, LA Times, Esquire Magazine, Texas Monthly, Garden and Gun, Southern Living, and more! RPR has achieved a 90% client retention rate, thanks to the relentless pursuit of opportunity and optimization efforts, and prides itself on being a part of every client's internal team. 

In 2020, despite a global recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company had no layoffs or pay cuts, adopting an “employee first'' policy, and was able to surpass a growth rate of over 200% from the previous year. RPR’s presence has grown from the US into Europe and continues to expand.

DesignRush is a reliable online guide to finding the best professional companies and agencies, categorized according to vertical and area of expertise.  

DesignRush evaluates thousands of agencies and is committed to helping brands find the best solutions for their needs. The platform has a listing that allows users to search partners based on clients, portfolios, reviews, pricing structure, and testimonials. This recognition to R Public Relations is one of many that distinguishes the agency and claims its excellence.

DesignRush has also ranked R Public Relations as a Top PR Company in New York and Nashville.

DesignRush Austin

DesignRush San Antonio

DesignRush New York


cost of pr

Is PR Too Pricey? R Common Cost Questions Answered

With public relations (PR) services, there can be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to pricing AND value. The saying “you get what you pay for” certainly holds true here as PR can offer tremendous benefits to your brand. But before we get to that, we’ll answer some of our most commonly asked questions about the cost of PR.

What is a PR retainer?

PR retainer is a lump sum that you pay to the public relations agency or professional each month for their work. The amount paid depends on how much work you need to meet your PR goals and your budget, so it’s important to specific about both in your preliminary communications. Traditionally the cost of PR retainers can be from $1,500 to $10,000 a month, depending on the scope of work and project/client needs. 

How much do PR agencies charge hourly?

Large PR agencies may charge upwards of $500 an hour for their time. However, smaller agencies or consultants may charge as little as $125 an hour. The average hourly rate at a larger PR agency is currently between $150-$250 per hour. 

What does that cost cover?

  • Pitching to major media outlets
  • Media lists and sharing sources that have been cultivated by the team of experts
  • Copywriting (pitching ideas and editing them)
  • Supporting a team (from initial pitch to researching and editing there is likely a team, of people that budget will cover)

How do I choose the right PR agency?

That’s a tough question to answer because “right” can be different for each brand. However, these tips can put you on that path:

  • Decide on your goals first. What is your vision? You need to know this before someone can sell your story.
  • Consider all your options, such as hiring a PR agency versus hiring someone who may solely focus on SEO as an example. 
  • Determine your budget for PR.
  • Decide what size PR agency is right for you. Remember that smaller budgets may mean less attention in large agencies while you may be the “bigger fish” for a boutique PR agency.
  • Be specific during the proposal process. The better you vet, the better the result will be. For example, ask that those who will be on your account be involved from the beginning so you can gauge capabilities and chemistry as well.

What would I get through a PR agency that I couldn’t with a marketing firm?

Often, marketing firms provide a variety of services, including social media, digital media, advertising, and, of course, PR. However, PR differs from those mediums as it is earned, not paid. Hence, it requires different expertise, not to mention the time and ability to cultivate relationships with media and influencers. Large marketing firms may have that bandwidth (and you’ll pay for it), but the small ones won’t necessarily. That’s the advantage of going directly to a PR agency. For example, R agency has incredible direct media contacts and expertise in leveraging those to garner coverage that creates a positive image and credibility for your brand. It’s our (R) specialty!

The Value Behind the Price of PR

R founder, Emily Reynolds Bergh puts it beautifully, “When it comes to the cost of PR and pricing, we are a small business; not a large PR agency. Yet oddly enough we provide our clients with more direct contact to experienced staff AND charge less than a large firm. We have found that our value to a business is second-to-none when it comes to delivering a solid PR plan and direct relationships. However, we charge rates that are also fair to the market. Our retainers are based on the work we do weekly to provide those R-esults.”

She goes on to say, “As a small business, we are mindful that not everyone can spend big when it comes to PR. So, we also have lower budget options in which clients can apply. One is based on promoting a specific project. The other is R Prosper Program, which is designed to support solo entrepreneurs for six months by developing their reach and brand identity and a PR plan and campaign to launch them into the market in which they seek to connect. The end game is long-term relationships, not just a mass press release. And that provides lasting value for your brand (and us).” 

For R help with your PR, learn more about our public relations services. Or, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!


what is influencer marketing

Influencer Marketing: How Social Media’s Influence on PR Benefits Your Brand

Gone are the days of painstaking research to build accurate media lists, of phone pitches, of basing announcements on publication dates, and of waiting, sometimes for months, to see if you were published via press clips received – gasp – by mail! As social media has evolved, it has elevated PR right along with it to the cheers of us professionals and the benefit of the brands we represent. So what is influencer marketing, and how does social media’s influence on PR benefit your brand? Here’s how.

The Purpose of PR

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines PR as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” You do this by influencing, engaging, and building a positive relationship and/or image with your audience.

Many confuse PR with marketing, but it’s actually quite different. One big difference is in the amount of control you have over the narrative. In marketing, you pay to place an ad with your message; in PR, the amount of coverage, and in essence, your brand’s perception depends solely on your access to and/or relationship with the media. Or, at least it did…before social media.

Using Social Media in PR

Essentially, social media helps us to break down the invisible wall that once stood between brands and their audience(s). It’s no longer just about going through the media with your story and praying for the best. Social media can help you to meet your brand’s PR goals by:

  1. Working with Influencers – These people give your brand a voice in a way neither you nor a media story could do on its own. Influencers have huge followings that you can tap into to promote your products or services and help with reputation management.
  2. Social Listening – PR was more reactionary in the past, but with social media, you can keep your finger on the pulse of public perception of your brand. This enables you to proactively respond to any issues that might come up and better understand your customers in general.
  3. Using Your Platform(s) – Again, it’s about controlling the narrative as best you can. Social media can help you do that much more swiftly, if not immediately when necessary. Today’s news cycle is 24/7, so getting your story on social platforms can also influence the angle of media coverage as journalists do their share of social listening as well.
  4. Creating Real Relationships – Social media allows you to engage your audience directly with content that’s not only newsworthy but also important to their needs and where they are in the sales cycle. Think blogs, how-to guides, FAQs, and even related content that ties with your brand that could help them.
  5. Improving Media Relations– Social media is an integral part of PR now, but it doesn’t replace the importance of good media relationships. It can make that easier, however. Most journalists are active on social media and publicly list their handles. You can use this to learn more about their beats, when they need resources, how they prefer to work, as well as their personal and professional interests. Depending on your industry, you could include bloggers in this as well!

All this being said, be careful with a do-it-yourself PR strategy. It’s certainly easy enough to post, but appropriate messaging, knowing how to work with influencers and media, social listening savvy, and the ability to effectively measure results is key. 

R team has extensive PR experience, and we’d love to help your brand. See how by clicking HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call Today!


boutique public relations firm

The Big Benefits of a Boutique Public Relations Firm

If you’re looking to make a big splash for your event, product, or service, you think you need a big Public Relations agency to do it, right? Not even close. Much like how there can be too many cooks in the kitchen, the same can apply here too. When there are too many people in the PR process it can quickly bellyflop your vision and your budget. Here’s how a boutique public relations firm can benefit you.

Boutique Public Relations Firm, by Definition

So, ‘boutique’ isn’t just a fancy word for small, at least in the PR world. A boutique public relations firm is also one that is specialized or focused in a particular area of expertise. For example, R boutique public relations firm represents lifestyle brands including those in the restaurant, retail, hospitality, health and wellness, and startup industries.

Benefits of Boutique

You can expect these benefits in working with a boutique public relations firm:

  • No Swapsies – It’s a common practice for large agencies to woo clients with their most senior account team, yet as the campaign moves along you find yourself handed off to junior team members to bring it to fruition. This doesn’t happen with a boutique firm; you work with exactly the team that inspired you to sign on with them in the first place; from beginning to end.
  • Focused on You ( R business is Yours) – To put it bluntly, large agencies don’t need you as much, especially if they don’t see a lot of growth potential in the account. And the amount of effort spent on your campaign may reflect that. On the other hand, boutique public relations firms live and die by the relationships they create with their clients, so they are focused on doing their best for you, always.
  • Fierce Flexibility – The larger an agency is the more bureaucracy you can expect, which means you’ll have to work within their system and schedule versus the other way around. Boutique firms have more freedom to be creative and can be more responsive. This creates an environment that’s naturally more collaborative and adaptive to your needs, more like an extension of your own team.
  • More Splash for Your Buck – Large agencies are corporations with more overhead, so naturally what they charge reflects that. Plus, they’ll likely track and bill for every little thing; it’s more transaction-based. With a boutique public relations firm, you have a partnership in which you’re committed to the same goal – the success of your campaign and hopefully the success of many more in the future! As a result, the back and forth is viewed as part of the process! Not to mention, as a small business there’s much less overhead. 

For R help with your next PR campaign, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call Today!

benefits of a boutique pr firm


5 ways to pivot your business message

5 Ways To Pivot Your Business Message Right Now!

 

As we enter a new “normal” in terms of our business world during the time of COVID-19, the word “pivot” has been thrown around as a big buzzword, particularly when it comes to businesses. For us as word-weavers, we want to help, as when you pivot internally and not externally things can go south. Meaning, if your messages are mixed, inconsistent or flimsy (which is easy to do considering the world has turned upside down in the past 90 days), your people may be lost as to what you really are offering and thus move onto another pasture, if you know what we mean. We R here to help with our 5 ways to pivot your business message to communicate your new normal.

  1. Google your business and your top employees and see what has been written and what may be changing for you for the foreseeable future. If you are, for the foreseeable future, going to offer curbside pick-up, see if that is in your current online search messaging, and if not, hire a great SEO company to make it happen (we have friends we can point you to if you need it). People are online now more than ever and most people want to come back to you, but if they see the words “closed,” “temporarily closed,” “laid off,” “furloughed,” or whatever else has come up for you and others in the past month, they may be shy to buy, purchase, or stop by for a visit if you plan on reopening anytime soon. Make a checklist of where you need to re-message your message and get going on that ASAP.
  2. Update your social media but know the who, the what, and the when before you do so. 
  3. Meet people where they are—get masks, sanitizer, and so on for your establishment (we even have a client offering sneeze stations, no joke), and anticipate varying levels of comfort for guests. Some people are not going to want to get out of their cars for the foreseeable future even when governments open up, so be prepared for those who are ready to come in and those who want to be met out.
  4. Offer NEW purchasing options. You may want to update your websites (we are happy to help) and offer some additional items for sale. We have restaurant clients that are upping their merch and dry goods on their websites and we have online retailers offering free shipping as a long term goal!
  5. As always be kind! This seems obvious but when you look at a Yelp review that slams you for whatever choice you may be making, as the world opens back up, be sure to answer when you have cooled off—a quick tweet, Yelp response, or what have you, can have a lasting effect. 

If you need more tips, tricks, or help, schedule a FREE Discovery Call Today!


ways to help small businesses

10 + Ways To Help Small Businesses Right Now!

We are the behind the curtain folks, the weavers of words, the people that help share passion and spread good news! I am writing this as, like many of you and like most of the world, I want to save all the restaurants, bars, and small businesses we can from the hardships being immediately faced. I feel like every morning I wake up and see someone else I care about posting about making a hard decision with their business, and it seems that although we are practicing things like “social distancing”—a phrase I never have used in my life as both an extrovert and a lover of people—we are also in the midst of times where supporting and giving services is needed more than ever. As communications pros, we can be a beacon of hope during these strange and difficult times—we are the messengers to the media, we are the media, we move the needle from fear to fearless by being courageous and creative innovators in a time of great need! So I ask, HOW can we help—now? I’ve listed some of R teams ideas below on ways to help small businesses, and support clients, media friends, and most of all each other. Let us know what you’d add, too, we are here to bounce ideas, support and share! Let’s do this!

  1. Pick up the phone. Get off email and CALL your people—they need you. They’re reading the news and social media and seeing their friends close down and make difficult decisions—offer creative solutions that can help them weather this storm (an abbreviated but awesome take-out menu, clever delivery options, etc). Read this again, CALL and connect, it makes a world of difference—trust me.
  2. Source ideas with other professionals. If you are like me, you have been writing crisis communication plans, scraping all the content you planned for this month and next and next and gearing up for a daily swipe of your ideas—you need some creative support! Call, text, and email fellow communications pros! This is the time to give extra hours, time, and talents to each other to support the world of small businesses. THIS is our time to really support each other and get over any fear that someone will take your client or idea. In this case, we all need to save this sinking ship for EVERYONE and we are the answers. 
  3. Be a marketing genius. During the Great Depression, furniture stores offered free incentives called “Depression glass” (like a plate or a teacup) and people went wild shopping for furniture just to get the free glasses, even when they didn’t have much. Today a tiny Depression tea glass is worth $25-$75 (some more), and these were given out for free to our grandmothers. Who came up with that idea? A MARKETING GENIUS, that’s who. Us marketing pros are the people behind the curtain and we get to show off our most genius ideas—often in the most desperate times. Just this week alone I have seen café owners delivering goods, celebrities reading storybooks online, museums offering free tours, and even Disney taking viewers on virtual rides. The internet is blowing up and our ideas are just waiting to take off and find value with our clients. So do what you need to be risky and wise and get someone to sign up for something they never thought they would—it WILL work!
  4. Be calm + confident, be collected, and know this too shall pass. If we hold our visions our clients will too, and we are the ones who help document and execute those visions. So it is up to us to be calm in the storm when they need to freak out because their business is taking turns they never imagined. Be confident. Know you were hired because you are smart, talented and clients can count on you to share their message—that’s you!
  5. Be mindful of your words instead of “hard times” change that up for “things are constantly changing” instead of “closing” change that up for “we will open as soon as we can.” Words have power and now more than ever WE are responsible for encouraging clients and media to lessen the drastic language and fear and see things as a work in progress. As the truth is this is actually a golden opportunity to be creative with businesses, and those that know how to pivot and stay calm will be the ones on top after the storm blows over.
  6. Be generous with your time. We need to write more blog posts, edit more press releases and help more than we probably ever have before—now is the time to get our boots dirty. It’s hard work, but so worth it! 
  7. Shop, shop, shop. Buy all the things—get merch, get gift cards, and practice what you are preachin’ sister!
  8. Make your pitches short and sweet and with all information in digestible deets—who, what, where, and website links—and nothing else! We don't want to make more work for our media friends who are getting more emails than ever right now. 
  9. Share other people’s creative work—not just your clients. Ask and offer fellow comm friends ways you can lend a helping hand! Giving truly makes the world of difference in stressful situations.
  10. BE KIND yourself included, take a bath, do an online yoga class, pour a glass of wine at the end of the day, whatever gets you to zen. You can’t save the world if you aren’t taking care of you and from there sprinkle out the good witch vibes and let people know they have had the power to change and shift and grow within them the whole time. (‘nuff said).

From friends in the comm worlds:

“Entertain and engage! This is the time to show your audience your brand value through digital marketing by giving them what they need the most right now. Something to do. You literally have a captive audience, so don’t waste that opportunity with your average content. Find creative ways to entertain and engage your audience. A great way to do that is through mixed media: video, graphics, motion graphics, email campaigns, etc. Create giveaways, quizzes, and games! The more your audience feels supported by your brand during this time, the more brand loyalty they will reciprocate when things go back to normal.” Sarah Wlliams (digital marketing guru)

Have something to add? Please share!

 


public relations checklist

A Public Relations Checklist + Trends For 2020

So the year of 2019 is about to go by and here we are R-eflecting on all the fun openings, book launches, new businesses we supported, and clients and media we related to. PR at it’s finest but what have we learned from this year that we will bring into next? Here is our ultimate PR checklist—we are always happy to set-up a free consultation if you have more needs, wants or R-equests!

R words of advice for 2020 as far as public relations goes is:

  1. Stop sending press releases for things that are not immediate release or going to earn attention as “news.” There is a time and a place for all communication but press releases—unless it is breaking news—are a thing of the past. Customized-meets-personalized pitching is where things are headed, which means short, sweet, and to the point.
  2. Start investing in video—things are moving towards fewer written words, not more. I started blogging in 2010 and began doing vlogs shortly thereafter, as well as short videos that convey a message. YouTube is still going strong as an avenue to share and post videos + iPhones have made it super easy too!
  3. Speaking of short and sweet, keep your communications to media appropriate and short and sweet—not mass distributed. No one likes a mass email, especially someone who gets 100s of emails a day. This is one of the perks to hiring a publicist—we have ways to get the message to contacts without being pesky.
  4. Start posting in your social media stories NOW. General posts are moving towards a thing of the past, so have your social team post those stories and make them personal!
  5. Know what is a trend and what is an end! Avocado toast was so five years ago—things move particularly fast in the food and fashion worlds, so ask your PR team to help advise before making a product launch or new menu.


6. Invest in EVENT-focused outreach. Start sharing your brand with a party or collaboration. Being a solo-standing brand is becoming a thing of the past.

7. Do use professional photos in all situations. No more dark photos of parking lots—have your marketing/pr team help you put your best photo-foot forward.

8. Do sign up and/or post on Linkedin NOW. Trends revive and Linkedin is one of them, especially for B to B businesses.

9. Do sign up and/or start posting on Tik Tok NOW. This video streaming platform will be taking over Instagram in 2020, just you watch and see!

10. As far as social media goes, know your platform when sharing on digital media. As we say to clients, each social media channel is its own neighborhood, and not all work the same way—think art district (Instagram), up and coming (Tik Tok), hipster (Snapchat), old historic (Linkedin/Twitter), mom ‘n’ pop (Facebook). A good PR team will help you navigate this so you can maximize your efforts in all places or just focus on one neighborhood doing really well!


Onwards towards a new year and a R-fresh of your brand!

Emily + RPR

***Schedule a free discovery meeting with us today at https://www.rprfirm.com/schedule/