Hiring public relations (PR) support for your company might be challenging. To manage your reputation and get you noticed, the company or person you choose will need to work directly with you and your staff. You must be able to trust and rely on the public relations assistant you hire.
How can a small company gain interest from media channels when it doesn’t have any striking news? PR specialists still have many tools to ensure that publications appear regularly when no breakthroughs or feats change the market. This kind of routine work is called PR support. Who is it suitable for, and how can it be placed on the top media platforms? Let’s discuss.
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PR Support vs. PR Campaign
Before moving further, let’s understand the difference between these two terms.
PR support is a constant, methodical effort that aims to promote brands even without obvious informational reasons.
PR campaign is a set of actions aimed at defining the target consumer within a certain period of time.
It allows the brand to maintain its image and reputation in the relevant market.
|PR Support||PR Campaign|
|Duration||Starting from 3 months||Up to 10 weeks|
|Goals||Planned regular interactions with the target audience||– Expand the reach;|
– Call to action: encourage sales, downloads, investments
|Tasks||– Manage regular sales; |
– Form the PR image of the company;
– Support the company’s or brand’s reputation;
– Build loyalty of the target audience.
|– Tell about a new product or service;|
– Make the company more recognizable.
When do companies need PR support and not just a PR campaign?
The answer mainly depends on the goals brands and companies follow and the tasks they need to complete. Generally speaking, there are three major factors that companies should consider during decision-making.
- A long cycle of the deal. In B2B segments, it may take months until you find partners. While a potential client studies the market, calculates the budget and makes decisions, the company must remain visible in the information field. Examples are IT companies, consulting and marketing agencies, equipment manufacturing, and supply companies.
- Maintaining contact with loyal customers. People regularly use mobile communications, bank services, and insurance to travel abroad. Considering that it is quite easy to change providers, companies must constantly remind clients of themselves in articles, new projects, surveys, etc.
- Reputation-based sales. It deals with high-risk businesses in a competitive environment – crypto exchanges, asset management, and startups.
PR support tasks
There is no point in underestimating the importance of Public Relations in achieving the strategic objectives of any small business or large organization.
- PR support for social projects and other events is aimed at creating a certain image of the company/brand in the eyes of the target audience. It is the image of a trustworthy, reliable, successfully developing, prestigious, innovative, socially-oriented enterprise, etc.
- The work of PR specialists should lead to an increase in the interest and loyalty of buyers toward the promoted goods and services and, accordingly, an increase in demand for them.
- Another global task of providing information support for the organization’s activities is to increase its competitive advantages and strengthen partnerships.
- PR support allows you to get out of a crisis with honor.
- The purpose of PR support for the organization’s activities is to ensure the company’s consistent presence in the information space.
- It is equally important to create a favorable working climate, retain and attract valuable specialists, and increase employees’ loyalty and intangible motivation while achieving common goals.
What is included in PR support?
In general, PR support of the organization’s activities is divided into several stages. PR agents analyze the current situation and conclude what results need to be achieved at the preparation stage. A PR strategy is developed as per the set goals, implemented in a set of projects, and individual actions of the press service (PR department). Based on the results of the work carried out, its effectiveness is assessed, and recommendations for further actions on PR support are developed.
When implementing a PR strategy, you can use the following measures to appeal to the target audience:
- Media planning, working with the press:
- monitoring resources to study the nature and amount of information about the company,
- holding meetings with journalists: interviews, press conferences, briefings, press tours, etc.,
- preparation of news stories, press releases, – initiation of media materials about the company.
- Responding and preventing cases of negative information about your brand from appearing in the media. Developing an information campaign in a crisis.
- Carrying out various kinds of events, like PR and promotions, conferences, business training, and social events, to attract public attention to the company’s activities.
- Upkeep of a corporate website, information support for social projects, and social media PR campaigns (SMM).
Expectations and results
The result of PR support for the organization’s activities is the growth of publicity, making the company and its products more recognizable. With constant and well-structured information support, you may also expect to get tangible financial results, like:
- growth in demand for the company’s goods and services,
- team building;
- an increased number of qualified applicants for vacant positions,
- establishing partnerships with selected organizations,
- a favorable attitude of the power structures toward the company’s activities,
- an increase in the company’s market share, etc.
PR support for your work yields significant results if you entrust this activity to truly knowledgeable specialists. You can find those in the external press service, which will also save the company’s budget.
Companies that do not experience any particular business development and promotion difficulties do not want to make additional investments that may return in the distant future. People usually seek the assistance of public relations professionals only when it appears that it is possible to return the business to its former positions using some effective new tools.It happens when advertising, reviews, and comments simply do not work because of the market’s oversaturation with such offers.
Or, let’s imagine, there was some kind of crisis. Any negative manifestation from the public can put your business under the threat of contract breakdown, loss of reputation, refusal to fulfill obligations by partners and suppliers, etc. With PR support, you may ensure that any mistakes on the part of your company can be perceived much easier, and sometimes with sympathy from the public, which will seriously support you in a difficult situation.
PR Support tools
PR support for a small company’s activities is a system of methods and tools to form the brand’s image and multiply the amount of information published in the press. Which tools prove to be the most effective for small companies’ PR support? Let’s check it out.
1. Media Coverage
Media coverage is exposure in media aka news agency. Depending on the importance of each issue from the perspective of the media, the journalist and the editor of the publication, the issue gets more space and visibility, and in some cases less space and visibility.
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- 100,000+ media publications;
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Media coverage goes beyond being mentioned in large, mainstream media platforms, such as TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. While all these are certainly part of what constitutes media coverage and can help a good amount of people learn about you (or your company), the truth of the matter is that the media landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years.
The Creator movement has led a number of professionals to start independent podcasts, YouTube channels, and newsletters, many of which are targeted at a specific niche and have dedicated and loyal audiences. In my opinion, it often makes more sense to get featured in such independent publications as they are more targeted to the audience you want to reach (e.g. if you’re a wellness company, it makes sense to be on a wellness-related podcast or newsletter), and these people are much more likely to become customers, investors, etc.
2. Internal newsworthy events
Creating a new product, forming a partnership, or entering a foreign market is an important event in the life of a company, that can be used for promotion. Even though the company does not bear the name Apple, the news of a small media project does not seem to be interesting.
You need to write about the event even if the news is posted only on your website and on social networks. It is important to build a reputation among clients, investors, and future employees while looking through your company’s news feed.
You can try to offer a press release. But before you do this, answer the following questions:
- Does the event you are writing about affect the development of the industry?
- Is it something unusual and outstanding?
- Are you offering something useful to your target audience?
- Is it something that your readers really need to know about?
If you did not answer any of these questions in the affirmative, there is little chance that the media resource will post this news for free. If there is still a positive answer, the benefits of your release should be clear to the media editor from the title and the first sentence.
3. External newsworthy events
When there are no big events in the company, you can remind yourself by linking to external news feeds. These may be news and trends in the industry, that are now rumored and interesting to the public.
4. Exclusive and useful content
Think about what useful and exclusive information you can regularly share on social media. It may be market research, statistics on the sales of your products over a certain period, information about new trends, etc. You may consider posting any data that illustrates the development of your industry.
5. Expert comments for the media
Journalists regularly hire experts to write analytical articles. There are even dedicated resources where the media publishes requests for comments and invoices for articles. For example, you can use HARO’s services to find experts and content sources in your field.
To establish yourself as a specialist who is ready to respond quickly, competently, and to the point, take the following steps:
- Build contacts. Get to know a journalist who writes about your field in advance. Start with social networks. Add the journalist as a friend, explain how you can be useful to him, follow new publications, and comment on them.
- Work on your professional brand. Lead an expert column or blog, participate in conferences, and speak out on high-profile events in the industry.
- Reply to reporters as quickly as possible, especially if the topic is hot. Remember that the comment was most likely not taken solely from you, so consider the subject from various perspectives and avoid being too trivial.
6. Blog platforms
Blogging platforms have a big advantage over social media. Content can be published independently and for free, without posting schedules and approvals from editors. If users like your material, the platform will facilitate its further spread. For example, they may include it in a digest or post it on their social networks. In any case, it makes sense to take care of promoting your article on your own – to make crops in specialized telegram channels or launch a targeted ad.
Some of the most popular platforms where you can publish your content include:
- Medium. You may write on any topic. There are 96 categories on the blogging platform – from books and art to blockchain and technology. Your texts should be moderated before publication in one of the popular journals (publications).
- Hackernoon. Topic – technology. You need to sign up to apply for a publication. The selection is pretty strict.
7. Communicate with readers
The work on your piece doesn’t end after it’s published. You should follow and respond to reader comments in a way that maintains the company’s reputation. Here are some tips:
- Answer promptly – preferably within a day. In social networks, the time frame is even narrower. According to statistics, 83% of people expect companies to respond to social media comments within a day or less.
- Personalize each answer – even if the same comments like “thank you” are the same.
- Answer questions, give thanks for the praise and feedback (even negative). When working with negative comments, remember that your answer will be seen not only by the comment’s author but also by all readers.
- Always be polite and professional, do not give in to emotions, and write on the case. Don’t forget that you represent the brand.
8. Additional tools
PR support helps the company stay visible even when there is nothing to surprise the media with. To get the most out of this promotion method, we additionally use the following tools:
- SERP. Monitoring search results for mentions of a company or brand. Quickly take action when you notice negative feedback.
- SEO – allows you to bring to the top the content that is published with the help of PR support.
- SMM and community building. By engaging the target audience in a dialogue, you can turn neutral and interested visitors into loyal users.
Choosing the best PR assistance for you business
It is critical that you partner with a public relations firm that shares your beliefs and with whom you get along. To receive recommendations, talk to other businesses and people in your network. Investigate public relations firms via their websites and social media feeds to learn more about their clientele and previous work.
Before making a decision, don’t be scared to meet with a few PR firms or freelancers and request offers and quotations. You must be able to rely on your public relations team.
What makes collaboration with a PR agency work is no different from what makes any great partnership work: The mutual understanding has to be there, they have to really “get” what you’re trying to do, and just because they’re able to prove past success in past relationships doesn’t mean they’re necessarily right for you, and of course, it’d fit your budget.
Before you sign anything, be sure that reasonable expenses are covered and that the cost includes the creation of any marketing materials. Design, print, merchandising, and video all have a cost and may be considered extras.
While relying on the help of PRNEWS.IO, you can get your content published on the right new portals or media platforms that target the right audience and will help you gain wider exposure for your brand. When gaining the help of expert PR support and implementing the aforementioned PR tools into your online marketing campaign, you will be able to make your brand talked of, keep people more engaged in your company’s news, and simply inform the public about the latest innovations in your niche. When done correctly, PR can bring multiple rewards to small companies and well-established corporations.
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Business relationships are usually bidirectional. Before you start looking for PR assistance, make sure you know what you want to achieve with PR and, more importantly, what your budget is.