PR trends

PR Consulting

9 Reasons your Business Needs PR Consulting

There are functions of any business deemed essential – accounting, human resources, sales – and then there are functions that far too many believe unnecessary. Public relations (PR) is one of them. That’s a mistake businesses often don’t realize until they’ve spent valuable time and money only to achieve lackluster results. For example, Forbes cites a study from Nielsen commissioned by inPowered that concluded that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising. But PR is a specialized skill set often confused with marketing. However, the two are very different, which is why lumping PR in with the responsibilities of your marketing team isn’t always the best choice. On the other hand, outsourcing PR consulting can be a game-changer. Here’s why.

Why Your Business Needs PR Consulting

1. Shapes Your Reputation and Message 

 

PR Consulting

When your business is presented in a positive light through outside sources versus direct communications from you to the customer alone, it does wonders to improve your brand’s reputation. That’s why relationships with the media and influencers are so important. Cultivating and maintaining those relationships is a key component of PR consulting. 

What’s more, your customers need to be aware of your business’s brand positioning and the benefit and value of your product/service in a way that resonates with them consistently. PR can help you relay those messages effectively across multiple channels.

2. Drives Awareness

Your target audience can’t buy your products or services unless they know about them. That’s why driving awareness is so vital to businesses. Having direct media contacts is the key to ensuring your message is shared in the right places at the right time. Unfortunately, most businesses neither have the time nor the expertise to cultivate and maintain these relationships. However, PR consulting firms do!  

Another part of driving awareness is staying relevant to your audience. A business only has so much news to share. But PR consulting firms stay on top of trends and opportunities to pitch your brand in a way that’s relevant to what’s going on in your industry, with your target audience, and in the world. 

3. Boosts Credibility

PR Consulting

Consumers don’t take businesses at face value anymore. They ask questions and want to know your brand before buying. In fact, Edelman's Trust Barometer found that 70 percent of consumers say trusting a brand is more important today than in the past. What’s more, 53 percent agree that trusting the business behind the brand is the second most important factor (only to price) when purchasing.

As such, PR consulting that helps you to be featured in the media, trade publications, and/or by trusted influencers will boost your credibility (and, as a result, trust) in a way that no advertising and direct communications from you can. 

4. Reaches a Wider Audience

Most businesses don’t have unlimited budgets, and advertising is costly, particularly when it comes to national campaigns. On the other hand, a PR consulting firm has the expertise to help you reach a wider audience with earned media. However, this organic coverage is harder to achieve on your own without the right media connections.

Another benefit of earned media coverage is that you may receive news mentions introducing your business to new audiences that you’ve never considered before!

5. Gives You an Edge over Competitors

As mentioned above, PR isn’t often seen as necessary because it doesn’t directly drive sales in the way marketing does (although it does indirectly by driving leads). And while competitors are ignoring those top-of-the-funnel activities and trying to figure out how to stretch their limited marketing budget to attract more interest, those who are proactive about PR enjoy a robust funnel of leads. This, in turn, gives your business an edge by allowing you to focus marketing on increasing sales conversion.

6. Enhances Online Presence

PR Consulting

You may not realize that PR and SEO have similar goals, including brand awareness. For example, high-quality backlinks from credible media sources (or influencers) can help your website move up higher in search results which drives more organic traffic. Brand mentions as a result of your PR consulting efforts can also help you rank higher for specific keywords in Google as well, particularly local brand mentions. 

7. Generates More Leads

Again, if you think of the sales cycle as a funnel, PR is at the top, where awareness, credibility, and engagement are cultivated, versus the bottom of the funnel, where the sale is closed. Marketing can only do so much at the top of the funnel for several reasons: budget limitations and the resulting reach limitations, not to mention lack of staying power. 

Once an ad or campaign has run its paid course, it’s done. Whereas those news mentions have legs, they can be found long after publication. So, PR drives lead in the short and long term, consistently generating more leads overall.

8. Attracts Investors and Brand Partners

PR consulting can help your business get in front of VCs and other investors in a way that increases your credibility. It helps them learn about your brand as a potential investment option. PR can also help you find brand partners by raising awareness among those with complementary products and services.

9. Effective Crisis Management

Crises can and will happen. Whether it’s a problem with your product/service, an issue in the industry, or some unforeseen event. In these circumstances, your PR consulting firm’s crisis management strategy is vital in helping you quickly share information, address the impact on your customers, and let them know how you’re remedying the issue(s). 

A good PR consulting firm can also help you to identify any potential vulnerabilities proactively, too.

How Do You Choose the Right PR Consulting Firm?

To ensure the PR consulting firm, you choose is a fit for your brand, industry, budget, and goals, ask about their specialty, clients, whom you’ll work with daily, their working style, and how they measure success.

To learn more about PR consulting, contact us to schedule a call!


PR Trends 2023

7 PR Trends Changing the Industry in 2023

The new year brings new opportunities for groundbreaking strategies, public relations (PR) successes, and company growth! Although it can be challenging to keep up with the fast-paced PR industry, not every trend sticks. Here are the seven PR Trends for 2023 that you need to pay attention to—they just might change the game for good.

1. Mobile Commerce as Part of Social Strategy

PR Trends 2023
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Organic social media is necessary for any good PR strategy, but organic posts alone won’t drive growth the way they used to. Recognizable brands like Domino’s and Starbucks have started turning to branded apps and SMS marketing to complement their existing social strategies.

While an app isn’t realistic for every brand, the barriers to entry for SMS marketing are low. Click-through-to-buy features on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram can, and should, also be leveraged by brands of all sizes.

Another one of the PR trends for 2023 is affiliate marketing, which is poised to become an essential driver of sales for product-based businesses next year. Amazon, Walmart, and Target all offer affiliate programs. Work with your product teams to get involved and increase the likelihood of your products being featured in product round-up articles.

2. Creator-Produced Content

PR Trends 2023
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As platforms introduce new opportunities for brands and creators to collaborate, the influencer industry continues to grow at an exponential rate. There are so many creators out there, it’s possible for any brand to find a good partnership fit.

Layer creator collaboration strategy onto your social media strategy and start to leverage this industry ASAP. Not only do creators have built-in, loyal audiences, but they’re often extremely well-versed in crafting authentic and engaging content about their favorite brands. This is especially true on newer platforms like TikTok.

An up-and-coming trend in the content creator space is live-streamed shopping events. Brands can collaborate with creators to run these events, which function similar to TV shopping networks, and pay them for their efforts. It’s a win-win!

3. Data-Driven Decision-Making

There’s growing interest in monitoring and evaluating PR campaigns and outcomes with solid datasets. Gone are the days of relying on monthly readerships and arbitrary subscriber numbers. As more brands layer paid strategies onto their campaigns, tracking specific revenue-based metrics like cost-per-click, cost-per-acquisition, and others will become increasingly important.

There are so many metrics to choose from; data-driven results are not one-size-fits-all. Work with individuals throughout your organization to determine which metrics matter most to your company!

4. Simplified Brand Messaging

One of the major PR trends for 2023 is simplified copy. Brands should work to carefully cull messaging until it is concise, catchy, and authentic. When in doubt, select shorter copy.

This trend applies to press releases, social media copy, advertising copy, videos, and more. Boil down key messaging until it is in its most concentrated form. This will help brands differentiate themselves from competitors and hone in on specific target audiences.

5. Convey Empathy and Authentic Values in Copy

Staying abreast of local, regional, national, and global news is incredibly important in the PR industry, and this will be even more true next year. Brands must be aware of all major news happenings and adjust PR and social media strategies accordingly, or else risk offending followers.

Avoid being the person behind an ad that runs next to tweets about a new global crisis. Check-in on world happenings often, and don’t be afraid to pause or delay campaigns. As stated by Jennifer Berson in her article for LinkedIn, “No one wants to support a brand that carries on as usual in a crisis, even if it’s happening on the other side of the globe.”

Brand strategy should also take inclusivity into account. Copy should exude authenticity and empathy, but be sure your brand values align with your company’s actions. Act on the causes you claim to support and treat employees with high levels of respect. Any effort to use inclusivity and diversity policies as talking points in campaigns will be counter-productive.

6. Pitch Exclusives

PR Trends 2023
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There is so much content behind paywalls now. Journalists that remain with short-staffed publications are slammed covering multiple beats while working to optimize their articles for SEO. PR pros should try to make journalists’ jobs easier by providing them with pre-optimized, catchy, and relevant premium content!

That means less widespread pitching and more highly targeted and exclusive content offers. With less publications to pitch and more news than ever, journalists will need additional enticement to publish your announcement, and exclusives will help you capture the attention of both reporters and readers. Exclusives also increase the likelihood of quality coverage and assist with relationship building.

7. Social and Media Strategies Will Find Equal Footing

Social Media
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As previously mentioned, media opportunities are dwindling while social media opportunities abound. Traditional PR strategies typically place a premium on published content and position social media in a supporting role. Adept PR pros will start to shift this dynamic by placing equal value on media and social media strategies. Keep your eyes peeled for this PR trend for 2023 and watch as more large companies make major brand announcements on social media and through creator partnerships rather than through embargoed press releases. 

What is the best way to keep up with PR Trends for 2023?

PR firms are well-suited to keep up with industry trends. Because team members’ skills are highly specialized, they are able to keep a pulse on algorithm changes, media personnel shifts, and more. They also often have internal structures for knowledge sharing across industries, which means firms can apply learnings and successes from other clients to their strategies without having to go through testing or trial-and-error.

Want to dive deeper into any of these PR Trends for 2023? Schedule a call with R PR Firm today—our team is always happy to talk trends and strategy. Contact us here to schedule a call!


PR Entrepreneurs

5 Things PR Teams Can Do To Assist Entrepreneurs with Their Business

Running a company is hard! There are so many facets of the business that entrepreneurs need to stay on top of, from customer service to digital presence and beyond. Hiring a public relations (PR) team can be a lifesaver for business owners, as PR teams have the capacity to take lots of important tasks off owners’ plates and dedicate a set number of hours a week to improving public perception, media coverage, and more. Here are five ways good PR can support entrepreneurs in running their businesses.

1. Handle Customer Service Needs Online

With more and more social media platforms popping up all the time, it can be very difficult for business owners to stay on top of DMs, messages, emails, and comments, especially those voicing legitimate concerns. PR teams can take this off entrepreneurs’ plates by managing all aspects of social media, from content creation to community management. Handing the social media reigns over to a PR team ensures someone will be available at all times to respond to complaints, interact with happy customers, and clear your inbox regularly.

PR teams are also adept at crafting crisis statements, so if an issue arises and spirals online, they’ll be able to respond quickly and tactfully to help minimize the problem’s impact, thereby proactively avoiding negative press in the future.

2. Streamline Messaging Across Channels

It’s not uncommon for small businesses to explore lots of channels to promote brand awareness and drive sales. Maybe you send out a monthly newsletter, run ads on Google, post regularly on half a dozen social media platforms, and submit op-eds to your local newspaper. As just one person, it’s nearly impossible to ensure the message remains consistent across all your outputs.

PR teams are highly practiced at crafting concise, precise, and catchy messaging, and they can do the same for your business. Clearer and more consistent messaging across channels help new consumers understand the products and services you offer. It also supports better audience targeting, which drives down your cost per click and cost per conversion. If you are willing to allow a professional team to take on your company’s PR, entrepreneurs can expect to see a boost in sales.

3. Build Up Your Research Arsenal

PR Entrepreneurs
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Good PR is backed by lots and lots of research. A great firm always looks into the PR entrepreneurs in your region are securing and their like-minded business strategies as a jumping-off point for your plans.

That’s not all, though. PR teams have the ability to run competitive analyses and audits of your own business’s channels. Audits expose holes in your strategy and opportunities for improvement, as well as highlight great ideas other businesses are executing well.

Finally, research is the hallmark of a great media relations campaign. Hours upon hours of research are required to target the exact right publications and reporters for any given pitch. You can shoot random reporters an email about your new offerings, or you can allow a PR team to reach out to the exact journalist who has a passion for your new services. The latter strategy will result in more frequent and higher-quality coverage; the choice is up to you!

4. Define Operational Processes

PR Entrepreneurs
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PR entrepreneurs are just like other entrepreneurs; in addition to helming PR initiatives for other brands, they run their own businesses with a keen eye for operational efficiency. They are privy to all sorts of business setups and have been exposed to lots of examples of what works—and what does not!

As your PR firm hones in on your communications strategy and sorts out key messages, they can also craft approval processes within your staff structure. This is key for the PR team to be able to function optimally, but it may also streamline your own internal approval processes, too.

PR teams also have the skills to develop crisis communications operational charts, including who reports to whom in high-stress situations. You can apply this structure to non-PR emergencies, too, like a customer falling ill in your shop or a natural disaster hitting your area.

5. Use PR to Boost Entrepreneurs’ Profiles in the Community

PR Entrepreneurs
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Whether you’re looking to partner with other local businesses or meet like-minded individuals, PR increases entrepreneurs’ profiles in the community. The primary method for this tactic is thought leadership, which works for both business owners and other high-ranking company executives. 

It’s challenging to pitch yourself for awards and interview opportunities, but hiring a PR team provides entrepreneurs with a buffer between themselves and the media. Unbiased PR pros can tout business owners’ accolades and artfully position them as leaders in their field, trusted sources for commentary, and exceptional partners and supporters for other organizations. Every little bit of positive coverage adds credibility to your business and increases customer loyalty and acquisition in the long run.

How will I know a firm is exceptional at handling PR for entrepreneurs like myself?

When hiring your PR firm, be sure to ask the right questions. Request the firm share samples of thought leadership articles they’ve secured in the past, and ask about the strength of their relationships with media outlets that have both local and national reach. If the firm you’re interviewing can share solid examples of similar work they’ve done for other entrepreneurs, they’ll very likely be able to replicate their success with your company.

R PR Firm Founder Emily Reynolds Bergh is a PR entrepreneur herself, so she knows a thing or two about running a successful business—and implementing a successful PR strategy! To learn more about her services and how a PR team can bolster your business, contact us to schedule a call.


Innovative PR

The Most Innovative Developments in PR

The public relations (PR) industry is always changing—that’s what makes it so exciting! That also means it can be challenging to stay on top of industry trends and patterns. Here, we rounded up a few of the most innovative PR trends we’re seeing today, from campaigns that do good to a return to audio. Each trend has the power to make a massive impact on your brand’s overall marketing strategy. Read on to learn more about the most groundbreaking trends in public relations today.

1. Cause Marketing

Innovative PR
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Cause marketing is an up-and-coming trend in the world of public relations. The practice involves a collaboration between a non-profit organization and a for-profit business with the express goal of bettering society. Although this practice isn’t new by any means, new methods for sharing cause marketing stories are burgeoning in the PR scene today.

The key to successful cause marketing is making sure the partnership aligns completely with both companies’ brand values. The partnership needs to feel organic and authentic, and there needs to be real results that consumers can point to when making purchasing decisions or that PR teams can share when pitching stories. Any partnership that feels “for show” or misaligned with a brand’s image can do more harm than good.

At the end of the day, not only is cause marketing making a tangible difference in the world at large, but it’s helping consumers connect with brands on a personal and emotional level. Companies are learning to embrace humanity while consumers are beginning to understand the people behind the products. It’s a win-win!

2. Adopting an Experimental Mindset

Innovative PR
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It feels like a new social media app drops every week. How can brands—and their PR teams—possibly stay on top of every platform? The most innovative PR teams have learned to adopt an “experimental mindset,” which means they are always ready to try something new but are comfortable if the campaign fails.

Take, for example, Chipotle’s discount code offers during the early days of BeReal. At that point, brands didn’t know how to interact on this incredibly unfiltered platform. Chipotle found a way to capture the attention of its followers (who doesn’t want a free meal on the house?!) while also matching the energy of individual users. Their strategy was raw, they took a leap, and it worked. 

On the flipside, lots of brands dipped their toes into audio content on Clubhouse. While the app ultimately fizzled once the pandemic started to wind down, experimental brands were able to learn from their mistakes and perhaps even connect with new audiences in the process. They never would have known this if they hadn’t taken the leap!

3. Casual Aesthetic 

Sometimes, innovative PR looks like taking a step back! Unfiltered, “raw” videos and photos are all the rage, from use on social media platforms like Pinterest to major advertising campaigns. 

For brands who choose to participate in this trend, user-generated content (UGC) can be an extraordinarily powerful tool. Most consumers aren’t using high-tech photography equipment to capture their day-to-day lives, so the result is real, unfiltered imagery of brands’ products in the wild. These types of images and videos are incredibly effective in helping new audiences picture what their lives would look like with your product or service.

The casual aesthetic of many current PR campaigns also plays into a strong ‘90s nostalgia that can be seen all over social media, in ads, and even in the products companies are producing. Lean into the grungy feel of UGC and make the trend work for your brand.

4. Quality-Over-Quantity Mindset

Mindset
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Media pitching remains at the core of public relations. PR firms are often hired to control the public narrative surrounding a brand, and regular proactive pitching can help do this. But in the past, many PR firms sent generic pitches out to dozens of publications without much regard for each individual contact’s specific beat.

Innovative PR firms have adopted a “quality-over-quantity” mindset for capturing earned media, which means they spend a lot more time writing fewer pitches, but each one is highly personalized to the publication and reporter. The extra time spent on each pitch often results in more favorable and higher-quality coverage for the brand. This strategy is made possible by continually improving technology that allows PR firms to do extensive research on specific publications and reporters before making pitch selections. 

5. Expanded Content Marketing Strategies

Gone are the days of bland pitches and basic editorial calendars. Brands are beginning to take a high-level approach to public relations strategy that includes a comprehensive content strategy. Content strategies expand beyond media relations to include social media, community management, blog and SEO strategy, digital marketing, influencer marketing, and more. Each of these facets work together to tell a complete and compelling story for brands.

What’s more is that great content strategies help fill in the gaps when stories are misrepresented or not picked up by the media. Brands can employ one platform to connect with audiences, while another is more focused on pushing sales, but both work together to reach overall business goals. There are so many new platforms that exist, and brands and PR firms are starting to take full advantage to support their missions.

6. Podcasts Pull Ahead

Innovative PR
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One trend that hasn’t fizzled? Podcasts! These audio-based outlets offer the opportunity for long-form interviews and increased connection with listeners. Smart PR strategists are including podcasts in the majority of their pitches; the industry continues to boom, thereby creating more and more coverage opportunities in the world of thought leadership, product marketing, and beyond. In fact, podcasting is expected to become a $4 billion industry by 2024!

How can my brand get involved in these innovative PR trends?

A creative and thoughtful PR team is the key to jumping on all of these ingenious trends. PR teams spend their time keeping up with industry shifts, and they’ll be able to guide your brand strategy while keeping a pulse on the next big thing.

Want to chat with a member of our team? Contact us to get something on the books today!


Profits Through PR

5 Ways to Increase Your Business Profits Through PR

Public relations (PR) can bridge the gap between the people behind a product or service and the individual purchasers. That means PR firms use their talents to draw direct lines between those who are looking to spend money to solve a challenge and the companies that can meet their needs. Although PR campaign results are not easily measurable, good PR can bolster your business’s sales and help your company grow. Here are five ways PR can help you increase your profits.

1. Position Executives as Leaders in the Field

Profits Through PR
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Any great PR strategy should include elements of thought leadership, which will help position your executive team members as leaders in their fields. You can do this through interviews, offers to comment on industry-related breaking news and evergreen topics, and especially through opinion pieces.

Thought leadership ultimately builds credibility for your brand. When the people running your company are also considered the key authority figures within your industry, consumers are more likely to trust your products and services and may be more likely to purchase from you over your competitors.

Best of all, thought leadership can be executed on a very small scale! Pitch op-eds to your local and neighborhood newspapers and watch profits through PR grow.

2. Visibility

Don’t believe anyone that says brand awareness doesn’t impact your bottom line. Traditional public relations campaigns can work wonders when it comes to increasing simple brand awareness. This is a classic top-of-funnel marketing strategy that will help you make more sales and close deals down the line because consumers have to first realize that your brand exists before they can spend money with you!

Although advertising is one good way to build leads, every business has finite resources. Earned media through pitching will help you reach more potential customers without an additional budget, especially if you land a coveted mention in a nationally-reaching publication. A percentage of the people who read the piece will likely turn into customers down the line.

3. Develop Lucrative Partnerships 

Profits Through PR
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Well-aligned partnerships can do lots of good for both parties. The key to nailing an authentic partnership is to make sure both parties’ values align. Both brands or individuals need to be working towards similar missions, or consumers will see through the charade.

PR professionals are master networkers; they spend significant time nurturing relationships with reporters, influencers, and government entities on behalf of brands. That means PR pros will have well-targeted suggestions on the best brands or people to partner with and those to avoid. The ideal partnership will feel natural but will expose both parties to new audiences and demographics.

Partnerships can also be “in-kind,” meaning you don’t have to spend additional budget to work together—each member of the partnership gives up goods or services instead. In-kind partnerships are a great way to share your goods with partners so they can talk about your product or services firsthand, thereby increasing the reach of your partnership. In the same vein as coverage in large publications, when a well-respected thought leader or influencer shouts out your product, consumers are more likely to trust your brand and become purchasers down the line.

4. Traffic Generation and Improved SEO

Profits Through PR
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Every media hit, influencer post, and partnership secured will help drive traffic to your brand’s website. Search engines like Google rely on backlinks, or links to your site from other trusted sources, to help it determine which webpages to boost when search queries are submitted. The more trustworthy backlinks you can secure, the better your website is ultimately going to perform. 

Public relations can also improve SEO, or search engine optimization. When your brand is featured in an article or you’re selected for an interview, you’ll start to be associated with certain keywords. When searchers type in these keywords, your website will be more likely to show, thereby securing more eyes on your site (and improving profits in the process).

5. Build Brand Reputation

Brand Reputation
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Media and social media coverage should be consistent in tone. Great PR firms will ensure all executives who are available for interviews are prepped on key talking points, preferred brand language, and tone before chatting with media. Social media posts, website images, and op-eds should all work together to underscore your brand values.

Managing a brand, especially for large companies, is no easy task. But a cohesive brand is a persuasive one; consumers are more likely to trust your brand and be loyal to your company if they know what to expect from you across all platforms. If you employ a playful tone on your website, have fun with social media copy and media interviews, too! If your brand prefers to use formal business language, this reflects in published op-eds and blogs. This sort of eye for detail from your selected firm will help you build profits through PR over the long term.

How can I measure profits through PR campaigns?

There are several KPIs your PR team can employ. You can track the number of media hits secured, the number of impressions secured, and the number of readers per month for any particular publication in which you’re featured.

PR firms can also use trackable links and measure how many people visit your website from each media placement. We can use similar tactics when tracking partnership coverage and social media results.

How long should I expect it to take before I see profits from my PR campaigns?

The answer will differ across industries. Most PR firms suggest it will take four to six months to see tangible results in the form of increased sales, improved SEO, and improved brand awareness. For industries with greater competition, expect a longer lead time.

Curious how else a PR team can improve your business’s revenue? Contact us to chat with a member of our team about how our services can help support your business goals!


Tips for Pitching Your Brand to Food and Beverage Industry Influencers with Food PR Packages

One of the top trends in PR today is influencer marketing. In fact, according to Statista, the influencer marketing industry increased from $1.7 billion to 13.8 billion dollars in the last five years. As such, we think it's proven to be more than a trend, particularly for brands in the food and beverage industry. Here’s how influencers can help your brand and how you can reach them with food PR packages.

Food PR PackagesThe Impact of Influencers in the Food and Beverage Industry

There’s almost nothing better than a great meal with family or sharing drinks with friends. It’s such a part of our culture as Americans that we love to talk about it just about as much as we love to experience it. Enter the popularity of food and beverage influencers. The foodies, the chefs, the cocktail experts, the health conscious, and more create some of the most engaging content on social media, and consumers lap it up because it’s more credible and more real when coming from someone they follow, trust, and, in some sense, have gotten to know. And brands are not only taking note but also looking at how to capitalize on the ‘influence’ of influencers in their PR strategy to help:

  • Reach the right audience
  • Build engagement with that audience
  • Increase sales
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Build credibility for your brand and/or restaurant

Promote Your Brand with Food PR Packages

Now that we’ve established the impact influencer marketing can have in the food and beverage industry, the question becomes, how can your brand reach these influencers? First, you need to identify the influencers whose niche aligns best with your brand and then create a food PR package that includes:

1. An appropriate level of value

You don’t want to seem like you’re buying their review, but want to provide a substantial enough product or product package to give them a true brand experience.

2. Products that are easy to ship

This can be tricky for food and beverage brands but you want to make sure the product isn’t so temperature specific or so easily breakable that it could arrive damaged or spoiled. That certainly wouldn’t leave a good impression.

Products that look good on social – Make their job easy with an eye-catching product or food PR package that they can share with followers. Remember, they love posting the un-boxing experience!

3. Consider the packaging too

The idea is to give them the full brand experience (as much as possible anyway) and that includes the packaging as well. Use materials with your brand colors, make sure it has your logo on it, and any other brand touches that will help it stand out.

4. Write them a personal note

DO NOT send a form letter in your package. One, influencers in the food and beverage industry follow each other too so they’re likely to see what the others post. And two, you’re trying to build a positive relationship with them, and the best way to do that is with a personal touch. Show that you’re familiar with them specifically, briefly describe the purpose of your food PR package, and thank them for giving your brand a try.

5. Include talking points

You could do this in the note or on a separate piece of paper; include a description of the product(s), the benefits, how to use them, and any other key information. Should they decide to post about your brand, this will not only make their job easier but also ensure they present your products in the way you want them represented.

Food PR Packages

Outsource Your Food PR Packages

So, that’s a lot, we know! But you want to get this right. Food and beverage influencers have a direct line to your customers and potential customers so just as easily as they can promote your product, they can share negative experiences, too. Many small businesses simply don’t have the time or the expertise in this area, that’s where we come in! R team is not only experienced in food and beverage industry PR, but we also have strong influencer relationships here already! Which means we know how to reach who you need to reach and exactly how to get them excited about your brand.

We would love to help with your food PR packages. Learn more about our public relations services and schedule your FREE Discovery Call today!


Pay-for-Placement PR

Does Pay-for-Placement PR Work? Expectations Versus Reality

One of the more frustrating aspects of public relations (PR) is that it can be harder to measure ROI than traditional advertising or digital marketing, for example. What’s more, good PR can often take a little bit of time to make an impact and in today’s world of instant gratification, that can make those approving PR budgets antsy. Enter pay-for-placement PR. But does it really work? Let’s find out.

Pay-for-Placement PR Defined

PR firms offer different types of payment models such as an hourly rate or a monthly retainer for their services. Another lesser-known model is called pay-for-placement PR which means the firm only gets paid after a story about you appears in the media. It’s an option that often appeals to startups or small-business owners who have limited budgets.

Expectations versus Reality with Pay-for-Placement PR

While this model can be effective, it’s not without controversy. Here’s our take on the realities of pay-for-placement PR.

Pros: 

  • You get what you pay for – Instead of wondering what exactly your PR firm is doing to earn that PR retainer or if they should be charging more or fewer hours to get the results you want, with pay-for-placement PR, you eliminate that uncertainty.
  • Focuses on the short-term goal – This often works for startups or small businesses who need to create some quick brand awareness or publicity for a new product release and/or an event. But don’t yet need some of the more long-term PR services like reputation management or media training.

Cons: 

  • Not every media placement is the same – Is a media placement in an obscure local publication the same as one in the lead publication in your industry? No, but you might be paying the same if you’re not careful upfront with this model. It’s about quality versus quantity. And that goes for how prominently your brand, product, or service is featured, too. It doesn’t do you much good if you only garner a small mention.
  • It can limit the relationship with your PR firm – Pay-for-placement PR is transactional, no doubt, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, part of the key to success with public relations is the strength of your partnership with the firm you use. When your PR firm is immersed in your brand they can tell your story more effectively, and retainer clients typically get more value-added services by the nature of their investment.
  • The model can invite abuse – If there’s a system to game, someone will find a way regardless of the industry and PR is no different. Yes, there are some unscrupulous firms out there who may cut corners and/or try to offer kickbacks to journalists to gain placements. This is completely unethical, but don’t let it overshadow a model that can work when done correctly especially when there are ways you can protect yourself and your brand.

Meeting Expectations with Pay-for-Placement PR

To meet (or exceed) expectations you have to set them clearly, of course. That’s one of the ways to ensure you get the best results with pay-for-placement PR (or any type of public relations, advertising, or marketing). Yet, you’d be surprised how many brands do so. But that’s a post for another time. Other ways to ensure your expectations are met with pay-for-placement PR include:

  • Do your homework on the best type of PR firm to represent you, and not just for pay-for-placement, but also for your brand and industry in general. Then vet them thoroughly.
  • Again, define what you want to achieve. What types of media publications, placements, and mentions equal success to you?
  • Develop as close a working relationship with your PR firm as possible with this model; the better they know your brand and the better you work together, the better your media placements will be.
  • Track the work your PR firm is doing and make sure you can make adjustments if you don’t think you’re getting your money’s worth.

To learn more about how R public relations services can help your business, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!


Scariest PR Mistakes

Top 5 Scariest PR Mistakes

Scariest PR Mistakes

As Halloween approaches, it’s the season of scary movies, haunted houses, and spooky costumes. But if there’s a scare you want to avoid now (or any time of year really) it’s the dreaded PR mistake. Truly, this is the stuff of nightmares for your business and some mistakes are unfortunately all too common. Here are the top five scariest PR mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not understanding your audience

By this, we mean not only your customers and potential customers but also the publications and journalists to which you are pitching. Just because your “news” is important to you doesn’t mean it’s important to these groups. So, before sending anything make sure it’s something your customers need/should know about and that you’re reaching the right journalists and publications to get that message across.

2. Ignoring media relations

If your business only gets in touch with journalists when you want them to cover something for you, then your chance of success is slim. Don’t have the time to cultivate and nurture these relationships? This is where a PR firm can be particularly helpful and is actually a specialty area for us. We’ve spent years on media relations in lifestyle industries such as restaurants, hospitality, retail, health and wellness, and non-profits, which is why we get such great coverage for our clients.

3. Going only for the big names

Who wouldn’t want coverage in the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, they’re the ultimate in credibility right? But that doesn’t mean they’re the best fit for the message you want to share with your audience. And, unless your news is BIG, they likely won’t give you the time of day. Instead, consider industry publications and/or even local publications. They’re much more targeted meaning you know your audience is reading them, and you’re much more likely to stand out. 

4. Creating a promotional pitch

Yes, the idea is to promote your business. BUT, when you’re pitching to news publications, your pitch has to be newsworthy! Huh? This type of PR is called earned media which essentially means you are earning free coverage instead of paying for promotion. You can’t just submit a sales brochure on your latest product and call it a pitch. You have to put together a story that showcases your business. Think case studies, unique applications, timely events, etc. Again, this is where a PR firm can help you shine. We know what journalists are looking for and the types of pitches that work (or don’t).

5. Winging a media interview

Finally, it’s happened, you’ve pitched and a journalist wants to interview you for a story. Great news! But that’s just the beginning. Although you may know your business inside and out, interviewing skills don’t come naturally to most. Not to mention, you likely won’t know the angle the journalist is going to take which may throw you on the spot. As such media prep is a must so you know exactly what messages you want to get across and can do so effortlessly. A PR firm can also help you immensely here by conducting mock interviews, creating talking points, and more so the coverage presents your business in the best light.

To learn more about how R public relations services can help your business, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!


Starting a PR Consulting Business

4 Tips For Starting a PR Consulting Business

Starting a PR Consulting Business

Have you ever thought about starting your own PR consulting business someday? It’s scary, right? And I say this from experience, “Hell, yes.” But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. Good PR is needed now more than ever, but how do you get from dreaming to reality? Having done this myself, I’m passionate about helping others become successful entrepreneurs. Check out my tips on starting a PR consulting business.

1. Make Sure You Have the Skills

Having a background in PR, journalism, or even corporate communications is a must. Not necessarily a degree. In fact, I have degrees in Psychology and Philosophy and a Master’s in Social Work, and while the people skills certainly translate it’s my experience that gave me my chops so to speak. Specifically, the years spent running my award-winning website Defining Delicious in addition to working for the Jason Dady Restaurant Group in San Antonio, Bread & Butter Public Relations in Austin, and Bay Bird Inc in San Diego. Many people think PR is just spin and slick talk, but it’s so much more. Lack of expertise is a surefire way to crash and burn.

2. Have Media Relationships at The Ready

Whether you have these media contacts yourself or you hire or partner with someone who does, the success of starting a PR consulting business hinges on these relationships. Sure, you can work the paid media (online ads, paid influencers) and owned media (your website, social media) angles, but that’s more costly. And even if you can get clients to pay an unproven PR consulting business for this, your profits will feel the hit as opposed to the free coverage you gain from news mentions. Not to mention, this earned media (free coverage) is what true PR is really about; you can’t be full-service without it. This means you have to build and nurture media relationships like there’s no tomorrow!

3. Find Your Niche

Sure, the big PR agencies have the bandwidth and the staff to handle clients from almost any industry. But, realistically when starting a PR consulting business that’s just not feasible. Nor is it beneficial for a small business in my opinion. In trying to be everything to everyone you lose some of your value, whereas if you have a niche you can promote your business more intentionally and focus your time on the media relationships offering content in that area.  For example, we R a lifestyle public relations agency which means we specialize in brands within industries that include restaurant, hospitality, and retail as well as health and wellness. Our clients come to us because we know their industry backward and forwards and there’s a certain comfort that their PR will be better and more successful because of it.

4. Determine How You Will Work

By this I mean your office. The days of needing a physical location are long gone. Sure, there may be some need to have a conference space now and then but there are certainly options for booking shared meeting space when you need it. It certainly costs less when starting a PR consulting business, but there are other benefits as well. At RPR Firm, we are fully remote which allows us to bring on talent from anywhere. We’re not limited by geography, nor are we boxed in by time constraints of commuting. Plus, in a creative business, the right mindset is everything. I find much more inspiration in the view from my home office than I ever would from a stuffy cubicle!

For more information on R PR consulting business, visit rprfirm.com today!


PR Regroup

R Mid-Year PR Regroup Tips

PR Regroup

We've passed the half-year point and if your business hasn't gained the awareness and interest you want, it’s time to regroup. Many small businesses initially try to tackle PR themselves and quickly find out it’s not as easy as it seemed initially. But that doesn’t mean you have to shell out the big bucks to a large PR agency to find success. Here are some quick PR regroup tips to get your business going in the right direction as we start the last half of the year.

1. Start by asking questions

Look at the goals you made at the start of the year. Specifically, PR goals, but it’s worth looking at other business goals as well in case there are ways for PR to help you achieve them going forward that you didn’t consider before. Measure how far off-track you may be and why. For example, was it that your PR attempts just didn’t work, or did you get too busy and let them fall off? In the case of the former, consider what might have gone wrong and how you might improve. For the latter, you might consider whether a lack of PR will end up costing you more than what it might take to get some help in this area.

2. Keep your social media on point

Yes, this takes a lot of time, but small businesses should consider social media the low-hanging fruit so to speak. It’s a PR tool that’s more easily in reach to you and it’s a way you can go directly to your audience to build interest and awareness. Consider your audience and make sure you’re active on the platforms which they frequent. The caveat: you have to be interesting and relevant to get their attention. Give them a reason to share, and do it often!

3. Stalk your competition

Not really, well maybe. If PR is not in your wheelhouse, one way to spark ideas is to look at what your competition has done that’s been successful in this area, and where they’ve failed. Note where they pop up, what they promote, who’s talking about them, and what they are saying. Then figure out how those tactics might be of use for your small business. And, don’t just stop at competitors, consider other small businesses that are in your local area, or even better that complement you. Reach out to them, maybe you can partner on some collective PR or at the very least get some ideas on what’s worked for them. Entrepreneurs love to help other entrepreneurs succeed; they know firsthand how hard it can be out there!

Go from PR Regroup to Launch

We started out as a small business too and very much understand the need to build awareness and interest, but have a lack of time and money to put towards it. That’s why we created our Launch program for lifestyle brands such as restaurants, hospitality, retail, health and wellness, and non-profits. This 6-month program includes developing a brand identity, PR plan, and campaign for small businesses that qualify. 

To learn more about how R Launch program can help your small business, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!