Recognising the value in public relations is fundamental to a series of successful campaigns and a significant profile raise. Many companies take a PR agency for granted and expect them to magic stories out of the blue. However, a strong relationship is needed between the client and PR if anything good is ever going to come of the contract.
At Bridge, we like our clients to be aware of the real value of PR, and understand what their responsibilities are – after all it is all about communicating the right messages correctly!
1. Develop a comprehensive PR brief
You wouldn’t jump into a pool without knowing how to swim and where you wanted to get to. Prevent your PR campaign from sinking by having a detailed brief on what your business wants to obtain from it. Also, be honest about your budget! If the financial perimeter is set then the agency will not go overboard on their creative proposal, resulting in the company being let down when they don‘t have the finances to support it. If the seeds are sown correctly with a clear goal ahead, then your business will only reap the rewards of a vibrant PR strategy.
2. Maintain regular contact
PR is not intended for sales leads – that is what your sales team are for, however it is important that your agency are able to liaise with the sales team in order to sync the information that is going out in the public domain. If the sales team are regularly updated with info from the PR side then they can refer to it in their sales patter. Speaking to your PR agency regularly will keep your business at the forefront of the PR teams minds, and that foundation of a relationship will enable them to prosper in the work they carry out for you.
3. Frequent face to face meetings
In our experience the best stuff comes from meeting clients face to face. Although we currently live in a digitally dominated society, human nature can prevail all. Face to face conversations have the ability to develop a corporate personality more than any other medium. We have had recent meetings with clients who are very busy people, and some of the best stories come as we are about to walk out of the door and they say “oh did I tell you we’ve just won a massive contract…”
4. Tell them EVERYTHING
A PR agency can only be as good as the information they are provided with. Keep the PR agency updated with the happenings of your company as they will always be researching newsworthy angles in relation to what is going on in your marketplace. If you keep the PR team in the loop when it comes to news and business developments confidentiality will not be a problem as good agencies will always run content past you for approval first. Remember – they are working as part of your team!
5. Identify your ‘Bibles’
Whilst carrying out research on your PR campaign it is vital that you identify the key publications you want to be appearing in. Most publications provide media packs on who their readership is and what the circulation is. Maybe you are a local business and just want to appear in the local newspapers? Whatever the situation is you need to make the agency aware of this so that they can focus their material to the style and format of that specific publication. This way they will also begin to develop stronger relationships with the editors and reporters to ensure you receive regular coverage with them.
Today is another special day in the life of The Factory. It marks the launch of episode 2 of this light-hearted, but surprisingly funny mini-series that follows the exploits of the hapless and likeable David and Gareth (who you will recognise from a look-alike confident, but inept office manager in Slough, and his side-kick). They are searching for the perfect ERP solution which kicked off with an introductory episode released in February 2009. So successful was the first episode that the follow on video has become a “must view”. In reality, David is a factory boss who is out of touch with modern business systems of today, and he is under pressure to seek out companies who are using ERPs to give their businesses a real edge. His first stop is a company called Astute Electronics, one of the world’s leading suppliers of fully tested and warranted electronic components. So what, you might ask. Electronics can be a dull subject for most of us, and another press release about a business solution might not rock everyone’s boat. This is where The Factory comes into its own. Each episode is so well done and captures the expressions of David’s bemusement in the world of commerce. Here at Bridge we are thoroughly enjoying supporting this viral marketing campaign through online and traditional PR, and we look forward to each episode with bated breath, and much anticipation. You can follow The Factory at http://www.k3scs.com/thefactory. You will have to register to gain access to the full version of each episode, but it’s worth doing. And of course, not forgetting the plug for Bridge – if you want help with your online or print-based PR, then we’re the experts. Just pick up the phone, or email us. 024 7655 3333 / firstname.lastname@example.org