What is Public Relations? Basics you need to scale your business
What is Public Relations? With the rise of digital media and the oversaturation of news, no matter the industry you’re in, whether you have 500 or 5 employees or are a scaleup or startup, sharing your work with the public is an imperative for success.
With a plethora of companies that are doing an impeccable branding job and have an established image in the public, as a new player you might wonder whether you stand a chance. This is when working with a PR agency comes in handy, as PR experts are equipped with all the tools, tips and tricks that enable them to bring the best out of a brand and the unique value they might not even be aware of.
But what does the term Public Relations stand for? The notion attracts the attention of many, but often fails to be fully understood. Due to its complexity and spread over a variety of media components, PR is not always easy to define.
How can scaleups and startups benefit from PR? What is the job of PR agencies? These are some of the most common questions many have when it comes to the industry, and we are here to help you get a better grasp of it.
Public Relations are most often described as maintaining a positive public image for an organization or individual and assuring the latter gains publicity for their product or service. Check this short video that dives deeper into the key concepts:
As digital is transforming media, PR has gone through major changes in the last few years. Before, many looked at PR and Marketing as two completely separate branches. Today, however, the two fields are very integrated, resulting in the formulation of Integrated Marketing and PR Strategies. The harmonious approach where stories are told through a mix of earned, paid, owned and shared media takes the best from each field, resonating with the audience.
What do PR agencies do?
Now that we know what is public relations, it is time to dive deeper into the role of agencies. To establish successful PR goals, many startups turn to PR agencies for help. Depending on the goal of the client ( whether it’s sharing news about a new product, raising awareness about a new service, changing negative perceptions, etc. ), PR agencies will first start with developing a communication plan by finding information on the industry, the competitors and the coverage they received, based on which they can start building media lists.
The agency and the expert will also set deadlines, metrics to define success, and reflect on the potential challenges ahead. Once this is done, PR experts start looking for newsworthy features about the client and their work and start translating it into stories. Often, clients also come with a specific brief about a project, based on which the agency puts together a media and PR strategy. The overall content is based on an integrated communications calendar that leverages dates and important occasions throughout the year.
Although PR agencies might opt for different methods for reaching their goals, the most common tactic is related to media relations: PR experts normally start by building media lists for their clients and write content they will pitch to strategic media outlets including articles, case studies, stories, press releases, guest blogs, and more. Hence, PR agencies can be in charge of many aspects such as:
- Sharing company news about your funding success, as we did for Impraise at Tech Crunch
- Updating your audience about the launch of a new product, as we did for WeTravel
- Sharing press releases, such as the one we did for Paazl at Business Insider
As PR agencies are greatly in charge of creating and maintaining positive relationships with the client’s audience and the media, their tasks can also include arranging interviews and preparing companies for press conferences, speeches, etc.
Besides, today, PR agencies also offer additional activities that include writing website content, managing social media, and managing marketing activities that will raise brand awareness, such as, for instance, event management. PR experts also deal with crisis management by maintaining a positive brand reputation during potentially damaging, unexpected events that threaten the organization or its stakeholders.
How can you benefit from good PR?
Besides increased coverage that can result in leads, PR has become a necessary component of building a brand as a startup or scaleup. Here are some benefits:
Gaining visibility and awareness
When looking for a new vendor or partner, customers will be more drawn to companies with a strong reputation and who are already established. This means that your chances of being chosen are greater if you have taken the time to build your reputation, vs. a company who has never been heard of before or has little media coverage. As a startup or scaleup, creating visibility is a key component of building your brand.
Although some companies that work for niche markets might struggle to imagine themselves in the spotlight, PR experts are there to help recognize and target an audience enthusiastic about the topic, or to come up with interesting angles around your product to make it interesting to the press.
At PRLab, we have decided to focus on helping startups and scaleups gain publicity, as we are aware of the challenges they face.
Building your brand
Developing your story and recognizing your UVP and USP might be challenging, especially if you’re a startup or scaleup, or going through a branding transformation. In this case, talking to someone outside your company who can identify your advantages and efficiently communicate them can be helpful.
PR experts can help you on this journey, and you can join forces to build an image that will reflect who you truly are, increasing your reliability and authority. For example, we worked with Framework Studio, an Amsterdam-based interior architecture and design studio who faced a disconnect between their current image, and the image that they wanted to project after their expansion to France and Ibiza.We helped them to rebuild their brand by creating a new digital experience.
To get in the public eye, having strong connections is mandatory, and working with a PR agency, in this case, will save you a lot of time and energy as it brings the expertise and know-how you might be lacking internally. As one of the main tasks PR experts have is creating and maintaining connections with journalists and editors, their large database will open the door to many potential opportunities. Moreover, to obtain success in PR and reach your goals, knowing who to send your story to is key.
Today, good publicity equals success, one should not run away from it, but grab all the opportunities to build a positive public image. An effective PR strategy will help you differentiate yourself from others and develop a story that resonates with your audience.
Are you curious how PRLab could help you achieve success? Book a free consultation with Matias Rodsevich, the PR expert and founder of PRLab here!
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