Five ways to get more out of your PR agency

  • Published on
    14-Jan-2015

  • View
    59

  • Download
    4

DESCRIPTION

Five ways to get more out of your PR agency Samantha Dybac, Director Strategy & Relationships - Sammway Published by http://www.micenet.asia Customer buy-in is based on the 'why' not the 'what' and great public relations (PR) plays a big role. So the three big questions for many companies are; how do I know whom to hire, what will they deliver and how can I measure the dollar value? As a PR agency, it's not uncommon to hear that someone has had a bad experience with a former PR, usually because they have over promised and under delivered. The flow on effect is negative, potentially creating hesitation and suspicion around the future engagement of an external public relations team. It's important to recognise that this situation is not unique to public relations. If you think about the number of times you have received 'bad service' you start to realise that it is common to many industries. As the daughter of a dentist, the number of times I've defended the dental industry over the years has taught me that people will remember the bad over the good and associate this with new experiences, warranted or not. having worked on the client side, I have experienced the highs of great campaigns and been part of organizations that felt underwhelmed with their PR agency. With the transition to PR professional, I have gained great insight into how a dedicated, hands-on PR team can add value and help in achieving brand awareness and business objectives. Here are my five key pieces of advice (summary points) for those wanting to get the most out of their PR agency: 1-Understand the meaning of PR 2 Have clear expectations 3 - Invite them into your business 4 - Build the relationship 5 - Be realistic Not every new announcement or product launch is going to be considered newsworthy. Perhaps the timing is wrong, maybe your competitors have got to market first or perhaps the story is just not appealing enough for the media to publish. A good PR agency will constantly be working behind the scenes to build your profile with relevant media and third party contacts. Sometimes the best opportunities are not necessarily those, which appear in broadcast media immediately, but those that lie in the horizon. For the full article visit http://www.micenet.asia Get in touch with the author, Samantha Dybac, http://www.sammway.com.au Twitter @sammway

Transcript

1. micenet Asia | 1110 | micenet Asia ustomer buy-in is based on the why, not the what, and great public relations (PR) play a big role. So the three big questions for many companies are: how do I know whom to hire, what will they deliver, and how can I measure the dollar value? As a PR agency, its not uncommon to hear that someone has had a bad experience with a former PR, usually because they have over promised and under delivered. The flow on effect is negative, potentially creating hesitation and suspicion around the future engagement of an external public relations team. Its important to recognise that this situation is not unique to public relations. If you think about the number of times you have received bad service, you start to realise that it is common in many industries. As the daughter of a dentist, the number of times Ive defended the dental industry over the years has taught me that people will remember the bad over the good and associate them with new experiences, warranted or not. Being on the client side prior to starting my own PR and events firm, I have also experienced the highs of great campaigns and been part of organisations that were underwhelmed by the efforts of their PR agencies. Here are the five key pieces of advice for those wanting to get the most out of their PR agency: Samantha Dybac of brand management, communications, and events company Sammway offers some advice on the ways organisations can work with PR agencies to create greater value and achieve business objectives. C Five ways to get more out of your PR agency KNOWLEDGE PR The PR industry must take some responsibility for [bad experiences] and be upfront with clients about their expectations and what they believe they can deliver. SAMANTHA DYBAC DIRECTOR STRATEGY & RELATIONSHIPS SAMMWAY Sometimes the best opportunities are not necessarily those which appear in broadcast media immediately, but those that lie in the horizon. Understand the meaning of PR This sounds simple but too often I speak to people who think that PR is an ad-hoc service required only when there is a new product launch or company announcement. As a result, many companies might only look to hire a PR firm for a short window but with big expectations. This approach can work well for established brands with a large consumer following, or where the PR firm is well acquainted with the company and perhaps have even worked together in the past. However, I have seen many other examples where companies hire a new PR agency on the basis that they will get a press release out to the media, who in turn will feel compelled to immediately publish a story, conduct an interview or turn up for an event. When this doesnt happen, questions are asked and bad experiences result. The PR industry must take some responsibility for this and be upfront with clients about their expectations and what they believe they can deliver. Make sure you ask the questions and are comfortable with the response, which leads me to my second piece of advice: Have clear expectations When hiring a PR agency, be very clear about what it is that you want to achieve. PR is not a substitute for marketing or advertising. I have worked in companies that slashed advertising budgets and placed the responsibility of driving brand awareness and product sales solely on the PR strategy. In this case, the product story was not nearly as newsworthy as perceived by management, and the approach unsurprisingly failed. When deciding that you want PR for your product or service, make sure you view the PR as part of the overall business strategy and not in isolation. This means you must Invite them into your business The most successful clients I have worked with have been those who have invited me into their business. If you want your PR team to deliver, you need to give them access to the tools and resources that will help them do so. This doesnt mean showing them your financials, but it does mean introducing them to your people, your company values, culture and direction. If you allow them access, great PR people will appreciate the openness and use it to help you achieve your targets. Build the relationship Business is all about relationships. You need to value your people if you want results. The relationship you have with your PR team should be treated as a partnership. Key things here are keeping your agency informed of news before it goes to the market, and asking for their input where PR is likely to be critical to the success of a project. Be realistic Lastly, make sure you keep your expectations in check. Not every new announcement or product launch is going to be considered newsworthy. Perhaps the timing is wrong, maybe your competitors have got to the market first, or perhaps the story is just not appealing enough for the media to publish. A good PR agency will constantly be working behind the scenes to build your profile with relevant media and third party contacts. Sometimes the best opportunities are not necessarily those which appear in broadcast media immediately, but those that lie in the horizon. Contact Samantha Dybac www.sammway.com.au Twitter - @sammway