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I read this article recently about how companies shouldn’t waste their money on a PR firm and this was like straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Here’s a newsflash: PR is not easy. It takes more than just media placements to create a positive brand image and attract new customers.
Perhaps I’m letting my emotions get the best of me, but I’m tired of hearing about CEOs being disappointed with the lack of media coverage as a reason for pulling the plug on an outside agency. Getting an article in The Wall Street Journal doesn’t happen overnight and just because you know how to create a Twitter handle or Facebook page doesn’t mean that you are going to attract hundreds or thousands of fans within the first few weeks. But before you decide not to waste your money on a PR agency, consider just a few of the things we offer on a daily basis:
- Provide counsel on issues from when to distribute a press release to how to integrate social media into the overall PR program
- Form and maintain relationships with media, which can sometimes take months or even years before a reporter/producer reaches a certain comfort level with you
- Offer insight into the changing trends in the media
- Write plans that outline the goals for the company and how to achieve them
- Use our creativity to bring ideas to the table that may not necessarily come up in an internal company brainstorm
More than anything, we are experts at what we do and the majority of PR firms take-on assignments because we can help, not because we want to cash-in checks for a few months and then see a client walk away. Just like what we work towards with the media, we want long-term relationships with clients, and believe it or not, we want results as much as clients do. However, both sides need to work together and understand that building a successful PR program is a process that takes serious commitments.
More than anything, this is a tough job that’s become even harder with the changing media landscape, and I hope prospective clients (and current ones for that matter) understand that we do this work because we love it and not just for a quick fee.