Outsourcing services like PR and marketing has traditionally been a move by businesses to cut costs. Of course, we’d agree that it provides better value than trying to manage your PR in-house, but the results of an outsourcing survey by Deloitte suggest it’s now driven more by the desire to innovate. What, I hear you ask, does innovation have to do with PR?
Well, as we highlighted in a previous blog, PR is about much more than issuing press releases and trying to get your story in the papers these days. The evolution of technology, automation and social media is constantly changing the PR landscape – if you want to be progressive and stand out against competitors, outsourcing your PR can be the ideal place to start.
If you need some convincing, here are some of the ways a great PR agency could deliver value and help your business innovate:
1. They know the media
PR agencies have long-standing relationships with media outlets and understand a) what stories they’re looking for, b) how to fit your message to their requirements, and c) the best time to approach them. So outsourcing your PR can dramatically increase your chances of getting widespread media coverage.
Our business depends on pitching the right stories in the right way, so you can be sure we’re committed to doing it right. If you or your in-house team don’t have the right media connections, you could lose out on opportunities by simply not hitting the right note or releasing your announcement at an inconvenient time.
2. They’re better at it
We don’t mean any disrespect by this. As PR professionals, we certainly don’t have the competencies required to do your job, so we wouldn’t expect you to be able to do ours. Outsourced PR firms will, or at least should, use trained, experienced and award-winning writers who are adept at condensing complicated messages in a way that’ll make them appeal to the audience you’re trying to reach.
3. They keep abreast of the latest trends
New software and digital communications channels are emerging all the time. Even we were shocked to see this infographic of the modern social media landscape.
Sure we might not utilise every single tool, but we certainly know how to leverage and integrate a multitude of channels to ensure your content and PR announcements are amplified as much as possible. With the best will in the world, when you’re focusing on running your business, you don’t have the time to do it all.
What’s more, many PR firms can provide specialist industry guidance. Having built and executed PR strategies for a large number of recruiters, it’s a safe bet that we’ve helped similar businesses with the challenges you’re facing right now, and that experience can help you.
4. They can help you avoid embarrassing (and expensive) incidents
Pepsi’s recent and highly controversial ad which featured Kendall Jenner brokering peace between protestors and police with a can of Pepsi, is evidence that even the biggest brands can get the message wrong. Pulling the ad a day after its release, Pepsi said they were “trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding…Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologise.
Often, in-house teams can be too close to the message and don’t see the potential pitfalls until it’s too late; as well as being someone to lay the blame on if something goes wrong, PR firms can provide an external perspective on your messaging that can help you spot potential embarrassing or damaging ‘Pepsi debacles’.
Likewise, we can help you navigate incidents of uninvited negative publicity, helping you construct statements that will reinstate or preserve your reputation rather than send it crashing down. See our blog on managing crisis communications.
5. They provide a reality check
It can be easy to think your business’ story is worthy of the national business news, but a PR agency will offer a more objective opinion and be able to advise you on the best angle for your story or the likelihood of it getting published. Or, if they don’t believe it is media ready, they can suggest an alternative way for you to get your message out such as through an event or a blog. If you go to the media directly with a half-baked story that doesn’t tie in with the editor’s expectations, the chances are your future attempts will be ignored as well.
6. They can be more responsive
PR firms make it their job to keep up with current market trends and spot opportunities to hang your stories on. Because of this, they can be more proactive and suggest opportunities that you might otherwise miss. And thanks to the relationships we’ve spent years developing with the media, we’re more likely to be able to pitch or be called on for expert speaker opportunities which can significantly help you raise yours and your colleagues’ personal brands as well.
We may be biased, but we honestly believe that outsourcing your PR makes the best sense when it comes to getting your business seen, heard and read. And thanks to digital innovation, it’s becoming more and more viable to do. To find out how we can improve your visibility, please get in touch.