Sure, you know that third-party credibility is irreplaceable and that the ways in which you can use PR to your advantage are almost unlimited. But, PR is more than part of a comprehensive marketing strategy; in today’s hyper-competitive environment, it’s necessary. To be truly effective, a great PR firm must share certain characteristics with your best friend forever (BFF); below are the top 7.
1) Knows You: No one knows you better than your closest friend. Likewise, no one should know your company better than your PR firm. Your PR resource must know the good, the bad, and everything else so that they can properly design a customized strategy that will work for your business.
2) Counsels You: When you are in crises mode or feel you are stalling in your personal life, you call your confidant. When your company experiences these things, you should call your PR firm. Your resource will help your organization by developing a vision, objectives, and plans to accomplish your goals in a targeted and cost effective way.
3) Asks for You: In middle school, you sent your BFF to find out what your crush thought about you. As a CEO, you send your PR firm. PR firms conduct research and design and implement surveys that help your organization understand public opinions and attitudes about your company and its services/products. They will also survey your in-house teams to see what is internally driving and defining you.
4) Is Your Advocate: If people say negative, untrue things about you, your BFF defends you. Likewise, your PR firm is your company’s advocate, bringing your newsworthy stories to the forefront to ensure your voice—and accomplishments—are heard.
5) Tells You the Truth: Only one person can give you the brutal truth. (Does she really like you for you? Should I get rid of these jeans?) A good PR firm will tell it to you straight. Sure, you want to send out a press release about every new development, new hire, new division, and new idea. But, not all of them are newsworthy. Your PR resource can help you decide what is worth telling to maximize your chances for coverage.
6) Contributes to Your Growth: Much like a best friend will help shape the person you are and the person you become, a good PR firm will help shape the direction of your company. Your PR resource will help you to objectively absorb external perceptions and tell your brand’s stories in a way that will contribute to the bottom line.
(7) Extends Your Network: When your closest friends extend their social circles, they often invite you in on the fun. As a result, you form valuable connections and relationships with those who were once “friends of friends.” PR firms will help you to build your business—and media—contacts and relationships.
Is your PR firm acting like a BFF should? Email us for 5 questions every company should ask their PR firm.