Whether you are a small company with a handful of employees or a big corporate employing over 200 people, you have a reputation. Whatever your size, sector or vision you have a brand, and with that comes a reputation that needs to be protected and managed.
More often than not, in-house marketing teams have marketing people who do some PR. Marketing Managers are very busy people who are responsible for content creation, websites, printed marketing collateral, event management, creative assets, and the list goes on. You name it and a marketing person does it! This means that public relations is an add on to their day job and they are not going to be focusing on this every single day. In fact, PR activity may only make up a small part of their week.
What if your biggest competitor has a designated PR person within their team who is managing their PR activities every single day, all day? You want to be doing just as much, if not more, PR activity.
What exactly is PR?
PR isn’t just writing a few press releases, running a few events while trying to secure some local coverage; PR is so much more than that. PR is huge and can have a massive effect on your business.
If you think about what a PR Executive does on a day-to-day basis. PR is brand reputation, it is creating press releases and articles and blogs for all different channels. It is managing social media platforms to not only drive traffic to your website but to build your brand awareness. People buy from people, which is why it is so important for companies to show their softer side on social media; maybe it was an office party, a charity fundraising event or the boss brought cake in for everyone. Maybe you have an office dog running around in a yellow jumper and reindeer antlers in the run-up to Christmas (Ok, so ours was wearing a yellow jumper…but, not the antlers. Yet!). All of these moments create good PR and need to be captured. PR is media relations; it is picking up the phone to the journalist at the local, regional and national levels along with specific publications to gain the maximum coverage for your business. But it isn’t just picking up the phone – these relationships take time to build. If you ask any PR professionals they will tell you that you don’t just pick up the phone and secure coverage. On the surface, it may look that way but it might take many relationship-building calls, taking the journalists out for coffee and building meaningful relationships. PR is event management; this takes time in itself.
There is also the small factor of negative PR that you will need to contend with; managing negative PR on social media, crisis communications and ensuring the right message is out at the right time.
Yes, of course you can outsource your PR to an agency, this is always a great option (and there are some fantastic PR agencies out there) and brings with it many advantages, but sometimes it will be a benefit to you to have someone on hand, who is immersed in your company day in and day out. They can focus on generating positive PR for your company which will increase brand awareness, minimise negative PR, gets people talking about you and the amazing things you are up to. It will get people talking, and we all know just how important word of mouth is to any brand. By employing someone into the team you have them on-site 5 days a week. However, if you have a PR agency that knows you really well and that you work closely with this is also great, it just depends on what you need for your business right now and this can change.
If your competitor has a designated PR person within the team, then you want one too.
Recruiting for a role that you have never had before can be confusing, daunting and time-consuming. If you are thinking about bringing in your first PR specialist then get in touch and I can help you decide what you need and introduce you to some of the top talent in the industry.
It is time to start making some more noise!