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What Does a PR Agency Do?

PR Agencies Buyers' Guide

The role of a PR agency is to manage communication between your organisation and your public.

Your public may be comprised of customers, or other businesses or even government bodies - essentially anyone you wish to communicate with. A PR company is there to get your company talked about for all the right reasons.

They can do this in any number of ways but one of the main things a good PR company should be able to help you with is editorial coverage.

Hot Off the Press

This differs from traditional advertising in a number of ways.

  • Coverage from an industry expert - a specialist within the field of your business - and the credibility that comes with this can be invaluable.
  • Although these still entail some sort of cost for research and writing, it will tend to be far cheaper than developing and marketing an advertising campaign.
  • While customers tend to be fairly cynical about advertising, editorials offer a voice and opinion that should be neutral.

The flip side to this is of course that the PR firm will have little control over what is actually said or written. They can get people to cover you but they cannot guarantee that everyone is going to like you. However a good PR firm will know how to handle both positive and negative press in the right way.

Building Relationships

Maintaining a good relationship with the press is important. It is not just 'who you know' that matters as well-written stories and reports are key, but sustaining relationships and building trust with the 'right people' is useful. A lot of PR staff come from a journalism background and understand what the media want and need from this perspective.

Talk and Listen

Communication is the operative word and PR is a two way street. An agency's role is just as much about telling you what you need to hear, over what you want to hear. As their client you will need to be open to criticism and feedback in order to work together to really make a success of any PR strategy.

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