The Importance Of Experience With Public Relations

The Importance Of Experience With Public RelationsExperience Counts For Everything!

Experience with public relations in your industry is essential.  The UK has around 5,000 public relations agencies, ranging from small ’boutiques’ and freelance consultants, up to large PR companies in London that work with top global brands.

All media companies have different experience, depending on their client base or particular journalists that they have on board.  Some are linked to organisations such as CIPR or any of the other many public relations quality standard groups.

PR for small businesses in particular relies on experience, determining how fruitful the campaign will be.

A word for the wise, a CIPR qualification tells nothing of how effective your campaign will turn out.

Public relations can be used in a number of different situations.

It may be to announce something negative, such as a data breach (as has happened with the UK government), that you want to put a positive spin on and let people know what action you’re taking.

You can also use it in positive situations, such as announcing a new product launch or a company expansion that will create new jobs.

Simply put, public relations is a way to disseminate important information from you to the world. 

Choosing A PR Agency That Knows Your Industry

It makes logical sense to select an agency that knows your industry, however industry experience with public relations does go a lot deeper than just a logical decision.

Public relations agencies that have experience in your industry will have a much better idea of how your business works, how your industry works and how to communicate your message in a much more eloquent manor.

An industry experienced agency also should have connections to industry related magazines and publications, so should be able to get your press releases flagged up quicker as they have the connections and relationships in place.

If you are a larger company, then there’s a good chance you have a dedicated PR team or even use an external specialist PR agency. Even a smaller organisation will have someone responsible for public relations work, maybe a member of their marketing team.

It can be an essential part of how you portray yourself to the ‘outside’ world. 

Providing A PR Brief

Most public relations companies will as for a PR brief.  To give them an idea of what your company does, what your objectives are and what your budget is.

They should already know your industry and the publications you are to be found in, but providing them with a PR brief is helpful for several reasons:

  • It Saves Time – Rather than spending hours on the phone or face to face covering basic foundational information, a PR brief should give them a head start on what your business does, your goals and objectives.
  • Your Competition – A PR brief should give information on who you main competitors are so that you can focus on your USP (unique selling point).
  • Your Goals – A PR brief should give the PR company an idea of what your goals are for your PR campaign.
  • Start As You Mean To Finish – Planning is the route to success.  Like in the building world, a good foundation is the success of any strong building.

The Danger Of Poor Research

If you select a public relations agency that has little or no knowledge of your industry, then you run the risk of the campaign being a learning curve for them.  This means that you are paying them to learn about your industry and products/services, rather than paying them to get you media coverage.

Remember that all public relations companies are profit making businesses.  Many are unlikely to turn you away as a customer.  But they may bot have experience in public relations relating to your specific industry.

Do you know any of their clients, are their client in your industry current or previous.  If they are past clients, does this mean that the agency did not do a good job?

Ask For References

When considering a public relations specialist, it is wise to talk to some of their ‘current’ clients, and see how their campaigns are coming along. Are their client happy with the results, are they getting the coverage they seek, are they getting a ROI for the fees they are paying?

Reviews online are also helpful but bear in mind that people only tend to write reviews when they want to moan about something.  Rarely do people go out of their way to write a positive online review about anything as it takes time out of their day.

Check PR Prices

We live in a world of price comparison, whether you are checking prices in the supermarkets, in shops selling the same or similar products or public relations.

All PR companies set their own fees.  With public relations, you do not get what you pay for, the most expensive agency will not get you guaranteed results.

It is always good to shop around and compare PR prices, as media fees do vary from agency to agency based on size, experience, overheads and profit margins.

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