Public Relations

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.

publicists facts

9 Fascinating facts about publicists you probably didn’t know

Being a publicist—also known as a PR professional—means you must master various skills, from managing communication strategies to building corporations’ credibility. Publicists are social media coordinators, brand strategists, masters of internal communications, and wordsmiths with a knack for writing. These multi-skilled individuals are in demand by large companies, non-profits, celebrities, and even public figures, as their unique set of skills makes them useful for brand overhauls, crisis management, proactive storytelling, and more. Keep reading to learn more publicists facts so you know what to look for when it’s time to make a hire for your own team.

1. Publicists handle more than just advertising

Contrary to popular opinion, publicists are not the same as advertisers! Advertising is the practice of paying for a certain amount of impressions, clicks, or actions. Publicity, on the other hand, encompasses more than that. Publicists manage overarching communications strategies, which can include but are not limited to pay-to-play advertising campaigns. Successful PR strategies hinge on both paid and organic placements, meaning publicists spend significant time building relationships with media and nurturing stories that reflect their clients’ values and strongest initiatives. Paid advertising is a great way to drive website traffic and conversions, but to build long-term loyalty, organic coverage is also essential. 

2. Publicists can build solid relationships with media personnel

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Not every story will be a slam dunk on the first try. Occasionally, a publicist’s success will hinge on the strength of their relationships with reporters. Building relationships with overworked reporters is a challenging job. It takes a lot of time and effort, but the payoff is certainly worth it. Organic coverage in top-tier outlets builds unmatched credibility for brands.

3. Publicists can help your business grow in a cost-efficient manner

Publicists don’t require massive advertising budgets to make a difference for your brand. They add value by leveraging their relationships to promote your business on popular media channels, building and adjusting various strategies, and placing authentic coverage about your brand that more effectively spreads the word about your mission than a paid ad. Billboards and out-of-home ad placements cost a fortune, and tracking who’s actually being reached is hard. But a publicist can spend a fraction of that cost on highly targeted media pitching and see similar results.

4. Publicists can help businesses grow at every stage

Another interesting publicist fact is that PR services are designed for businesses at every single stage in their lifecycle, not just for start-ups. Goals might shift from awareness and driving traffic to brand loyalty and targeting specific consumer segments, but the overarching PR strategies can be applied in many ways to support brands both large and small, old and young. Every business needs the help of a publicist to maintain a steady beat of positive coverage and share new and evolving messages with audiences.

5. Publicists possess wide-ranging skills

To see continuous growth in the PR industry, publicists must not only remain proficient in baseline skills like media pitching and business writing, but they must also develop new skills as the times change. In the past several years, this has included learning many social media platforms, adapting to digital publications, learning how to manage virtual events, and getting acquainted with a 24-hour news cycle. All this knowledge means PR professionals can help fill in knowledge gaps at your company so you can focus on larger organizational goals.

6. Publicists manage your story from start to finish

publicists facts
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A publicists' work is not finished after they submit your press release or pitch. They manage the process of sharing stories from start to finish. Their core skills help them outline key messages in the form of media alerts and leverage their network to get stories picked up, but they can apply these skills to other communications needs, like social listening, SEO strategy, email marketing, and beyond.

7. Publicists possess incredible persuasion abilities

There are so many products on the market these days! Publicists have a knack for convincing potential customers that their client's products and services are the best in the business. They have honed their persuasion skills for years. They have an exceptional ability to narrow down key differentiators, turn messages into catchy elevator pitches, and find the best placements for each story. Publicists are adept at crafting messages that appeal to specific target audiences’ desires.

8. Publicists often work around the clock 

Not every newsworthy event or crisis happens during working hours. That means publicists must be ready for anything at all hours of the day. Hiring a publicist doubles as an investment in your customer service, as you’ll have round-the-clock support for your business. This is crucial in times of crisis, but also extremely helpful to gather feedback in slower times, too.

9. Publicists are always learning

publicists facts
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This is a publicist fact that remains mostly unknown. But PR pros tend to get bored when working on one project for too long. Collaboration with all sorts of brands and learning the ins and outs of what makes their businesses and industries tick are both exciting and highly stimulating for publicists who love to expand their knowledge. You can leverage your publicist’s desire to learn more by inviting them to participate in various team meetings and initiatives. You never know—it might spark an idea for your next big story!

I’m ready to hire a publicist. What are the next steps?

The above publicists facts might have you convinced that now is the time to hire a PR pro for your business. But before embarking on the hiring process, clearly define your business’s goals and make sure multiple stakeholders weigh in. Your publicist must have a clear sense of the work you need to be done before building your strategy. If you’d like more info about how a publicist can help grow your business, you can schedule a discovery call and get answers to all your questions today.

Challenges of PR

Challenges of PR in the Digital World

The Public relations (PR) industry, like so many others, has evolved and changed dramatically since the dot-com boom. Today’s PR pros face challenges, including an ultra-fast news cycle, round-the-clock media coverage, and reputation threats in every corner of the internet. Read on for today’s top challenges of PR, as well as how your company can deal with them with the help of a well-equipped PR team.

1. The 24-Hour News Cycle

Challenges of PR
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In the past, broadcast news ran for a handful of hours each day. Now, the news is on 24 hours a day, meaning there’s a constant flood of information entering households across the country. The news is on when you wake up with your baby at 5:00 a.m. and when you’re running at the gym at 8:00 p.m. This information overload can make it very difficult for your brand’s story to stand out from the crowd.

2. News Travels Fast…Very Fast

The virality of certain social media posts, videos, and images is great for global knowledge-sharing, but it is also one of the major challenges PR professionals face today. One negative review, which previously could have been dealt with one-on-one with the reviewer, now must be managed immediately or risk it going viral and causing irreparable damage to the company.

It goes without saying, then, that speed in PR is now of the utmost importance. Having a team of multiple individuals working on your company’s brand management at all times helps keep minor issues from spiraling out of control, especially on social media.

3. Crisis Management in the Age of Social Media

One of the major challenges of PR in the modern landscape is the need for real-time crisis monitoring. Disgruntled customers can reach you on your website, by telephone, by email, and across dozens of social media platforms. It takes more than a few hours a week to effectively complete social listening and ensure your customers are happy with the products and services you’re providing.

In the digital age, every brand must plan for the inevitable crisis to occur. Even if the issue is small-scale, a PR team can help you outline a crisis communications strategy and draft some boilerplate statements. You’ll also want to make sure your entire team knows who in the chain of command to escalate crises to when the time comes. Crisis communications used to be a problem for only the largest, most powerful companies, but due to the digital revolution, that is no longer the case.

4. Responsive Web Presence

Challenges of PR
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Today, it’s the norm for people to get their news, check social media, connect with friends and family, and sometimes even work primarily from their phones. As such, it’s more important than ever for brands to have a responsive web presence. 

A responsive webpage will automatically reformat itself to fit the size of any phone, tablet, or computer, meaning important information and photos won’t be cut off if the user isn’t viewing the site from a desktop. While it sounds simple, this requires some complex backend support and the keen eye of a PR professional to ensure your assets will look perfect on any type of screen.

5. Information Availability

Perhaps your company, when under the purview of a different management team, made some rash decisions. Or maybe a tweet went up a decade ago that was swiftly taken down due to its accidentally insensitive nature. It’s no longer simple to brush historical mistakes under the rug, as every brand has a digital footprint that can’t be erased. Information is readily available to everyone on the internet, and you simply can’t assume past mistakes will be allowed to lie dormant forever.

Undoubtedly, to tackle this challenge, PR teams can work with brands to hone a strategy rooted in honesty and authenticity. Brands must set aside pride and apologize for past mistakes or risk dealing with worse PR crises—and losing brand loyalists to competitors—down the line.

6. Clickability is Key

Challenges of PR
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Whereas newspaper and magazine editors once made content decisions based on the information they felt their audiences most needed to know, now advertising dollars and click-through rates reign supreme. Clearly, PR pros must learn to position stories according to their “clickability.” Will the headline drive clicks? Is the subject line catchy? Is the topic highly relevant to the publication’s audience?

7. The Slow Decline of Print Journalism

Print Journalism
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PR teams have grappled with a decrease in actual print publications to pitch. Nevertheless, compressed demand for earned media in print publications and a dwindling number of reporters means competition is fierce in the current PR landscape. In order to face this challenge of PR head-on, PR teams must be highly adept at parsing out the most important and engaging stories for brands to highly-targeted outlets—a far cry from the wide-reaching PR strategies of the past.

All of these PR challenges are overwhelming for my small team. How should I decide which to prioritize?

We recommend developing a crisis strategy first. Look for helpful templates online, or engage a PR firm to help with the process—some even specialize in crisis management. From there, tackle PR challenges in the order in which they will have the most significant potential impact on your brand. For example, a responsive webpage can maximize sales, while a social listening strategy can improve customer relations. Thus, figure out your greatest business needs and go from there.

R PR Firm offers a wide range of services to help you face PR challenges head-on and thrive in their wake! From earned media pitching to comprehensive social media strategies, R is available to help your team tackle whatever comes your way. Contact us to schedule a call.

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

Photo Credit: Cojanu Alexandru | Pexels

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!