Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Once in a while, PR people working in a small agency or team will feel overwhelmed. Occasionally, the workload or new task assigned a bigger team may often require an extra push from an external party. That is where seeking the services of a PR Agency may come in handy.

Organizations sometimes need more time, diverse ideas and more resources to organize a successful publicity campaign. It’s better for them to seek competent, professional advice from an external agency. Such external help brings onboard a more objective approach to the issues at hand. Hiring the services of a Public Relations firm/communications consultant also allows you to focus on your day-to-day operations, and handle much of the work involved in running an efficient campaign.

Here are some four (4) ideas a scaling business should consider when investing in Public Relations:

1. DELIVERING COMPETITIVE EDGE

You see competitors’ news and social media footprint for a reason; it simply means they’re working the public relations better than you. Barbara Corcoran, celebritybusiness mogul on Shark Tank, once opined: “If you’re not being quoted in the press, you’re losing market share by losing limelight.” It’s that simple.

An experienced communications agency is usually an extension of your brand; delivering insight, media monitoring, reporting and strategy in the competitive industry landscape. At the end of the day, your need an ally to help you answer these salient questions:

On what key themes are your competitors hanging their hats in both the press and other marketing strategies?

Are there gaps in competitor messaging that your brand can fill?

Have competitors amped up their press and announcement strategy recently? Why and how can your brand enter the conversation?

Is there an opportunity for your brand to take a contrarian stance and stand out from the noise competitors are creating?

This kind of insight helps you create a stronger content strategy to win at media coverage, Return on Investment (ROI) and brand visibility.



2. RETAINER NEGOTIATION THAT KEEP YOU TOP OF MIND

Hiring a Public Relations firm for a short-term period and letting them go once the job is done is one of the worst things a company can do. Once newsmakers, key stakeholders and customers don’t hear from you that much, your relevance dwindles.
PR can keep your firm top of mind through thought leadership opportunities to give credibility to your executive staff, creating videos or podcasts on peripheral but relevant subjects to garner attention and conversation around your leadership and company.

3. DAMAGE CONTROL

Many companies (even the experienced ones) may not be fully equipped to handle crisis situations; disgruntled outpour of consumer feedback, due to a fault in the production or manufacture in some of their products and so on. PR firms, on the other hand, are better experienced and specially trained to handle and prevent crisis- like situations which can have disastrous consequences in the long run. An experienced PR agency can swiftly tackle the situation; provide a proper action plan so that maximum damage control can be achieved in minimum time.


4. GAIN CREDIBILITY

Reviewing the success stories of most brands in Ghana and beyond, it is evident that a brand is a marathon and not a sprint; in other words, the long-term effects of media visibility grow over time; in fact, years and this creates amplification.
PR people, work in conjunction with social media, events or charity, develop layers of conversation about product over many years. When you look at the changes the company makes, let’s say over a three-year period, which is a good time to measure, there will be a trajectory. And if that trajectory trends up, you’ve done something right.

CONCLUSION:

Hire a PR firm based on these four items;

Experience.
Experience of PR firm or PR professionals or experience in a PR industry.

Case studies.
Case studies are a great way to confirm a PR firm’s experience.

Testimonials & recommendation
Speak with current and past clients to hear their feedback from working with the PR firm.


By Paa Kwesi Forson

About writer : Paa Kwesi Forson is the Head of Public Relations at Global Media Alliance and Blogger at www.paakwesiforson.com



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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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