Public relations is about shaping the public’s perception of your business and managing its reputation. The most common and effective way to do this is through relationships with media, also known as earned media or advertising. This is what a public relations agency will do to publicize your business.
Lots of research
The key to a good public relations plan is to identify the media to reach your target market. PR agencies will interview you about your business and goals so everyone is on the same page. They will then research, media, journalists, and podcast hosts that reach your audience or have covered brands like yours in the past. Journalists don’t like being introduced to something they don’t cover. Knowing which media covers your industry allows your agency to maximize your investment with targeted campaigns.
Create a Strategic Plan
Once their research is complete, your PR agency will create a strategic plan to support your business goals. It will include public relations goals, pitch angles (a creative way to present your story to the media), and an editorial calendar for special dates, such as product launches. Products (internal) or seasonal (external) occasions. Most agencies will also include tactics, detailing how they will execute the plan.
Implement the plan
Once you’ve approved the strategic plan, your PR agency will put it into action. Depending on the size and range, this may include:
Assemble press kits. The press kit tells the story of your company and includes key information such as event dates, products, logos, photos, and biographies of key executives. They may also include product samples and press releases.
Create unique positions. Your agency will create unique pitches to attract the attention of specific groups of journalists, podcasts, and media outlets reaching your target market. The more engaging and less generic the pitch is, the more opportunities there are for a media to be interested in pitching your brand.
Perception. Once the presentations are compiled, your agent will begin contacting journalists and outlets, either via email, social media or in person.
Engage influencers. PR agencies can be used to find and manage influencers that create an appearance for your brand, including negotiating contracts.
In general, PR agencies put you in front of the people most likely to buy your product or service.
What will they not do?
PR agencies do not guarantee media features
A reputable PR agency will not guarantee that your brand will be featured by media organizations. According to Ashli Urquhart, owner of AUPR, “No advertising agency can guarantee placement because it is simply beyond our control. Even with the strongest media contacts, it is ultimately up to the editorial team to decide if your brand gets featured.
This may not be what you want to hear, but it’s true. Even if my client has an interview with a reporter and everything looks fine, we don’t count it as an article until it’s actually published.
My relationships with journalists and publications are the foundation of my business. Trying to influence what is published will weaken that relationship. Sometimes we just need to let things happen and be super clear for the next features.
PR agencies are not focused on selling
Although PR is part of marketing, PR agencies are not responsible for selling. It is our responsibility to increase your brand awareness and present you as an expert in your industry. So while we can tell you how many readers or listeners a publication or podcast has, our KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) won’t include the number of sales you made through our work.
PR agencies do not share their media contact lists
Media contact lists are the exclusive work of an agency. Offers are built on personal relationships. Mine has been carefully and thoroughly selected over time, and specifically for the industries I work in and the types of journalism my clients want to reach.
Once you’ve hired a PR agency, focus on building relationships with them as you would with your team members. After all, their success is your success.