As we reflect on the year and finish the last of our Thanksgiving leftovers, we wanted to highlight three underrated reasons that companies should be thankful for their PR agency. Some companies mistakenly think that PR agencies are just coverage factories, facilitating interviews and securing valuable media stories. Media relations is definitely at the foundation of traditional public relations but, in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, your PR agency does so much more. Whether you are a teen pop star with behavioral issues, or a company trying to identify the correct avenues for your content, below are our top three reasons to be grateful for your PR agency this holiday season:
Your brand is your mark of distinction. Cultivating and maintaining a strong brand is necessary to build trust with your respective target audiences, and strategic public relations can ensure that your brand is represented consistently and correctly. Every once in a while (ok, let’s be honest—pretty frequently) a brand can suffer a reputation crisis and this is when having a team of experts can be especially beneficial. Just ask Justin Bieber—he is definitely giving thanks to his team this holiday as he celebrates his number one album. 2015 was one long journey rehabbing his image and we hope the genius behind his Comedy Central Roast/public atonement got an extra large piece of pie this Thanksgiving.
Content Creation and Distribution
By now, we have all heard the phrase “content is king” but that phrase is dangerously close to becoming an old saw. Without a calculated distribution strategy, content is just clutter. Identifying the correct avenues for your content to drive overarching business objectives is where your PR team shines. A lot of practitioners say they will live and die by their AP Style Book, but we think the strategic content calendar is one of the most valuable PR tools. Don’t get us wrong, we love our AP Style Book, but mapping out a strategic plan for your content and identifying the most powerful targets is just as important as the quality of the content itself.
Anyone with Internet access can Tweet or manage a Facebook page (just look at my mom’s adventures in Twitter), but a well-rounded social media strategy clearly identifies your goals and measures them to better engage with your target audience. Just because you have a smartphone does not mean you are qualified to develop and execute a social strategy. Social media can be an effective way to humanize a brand, but 140 characters can also be dangerous; the thoughtless click of a button brought down household names like US Airways, Delta, DiGiorno and KitchenAid this year alone. Your PR agency ensures that you are sending out a steady cadence of value-based social content, while also engaging in real-time at the forefront of industry conversations. Your PR agency also identifies which social platforms will be most beneficial to your brand. Save the pictures of your Thanksgiving dinner (#Blessed) for your personal account, and let your PR agency drive social strategy for your company or brand.
When you give your PR agency a little room to work beyond drafting press releases, you may discover new and unexpected layers of value in that relationship. Were there any surprising ways your agency earned your gratitude this year?