The most important thing to know about a Public Relations agency right out of the starting gate is that they are not the same as an advertising agency. An advertising agency will take out ads in newspapers, blow their clients up on billboards, or come up with a tagline for you or your company.
PR agencies, on the other hand, will promote their clients by making them the most appealing in the public eyes, coach their clients on how to best deal with media relations, how to expand their personal networks, etc.
A PR representation knows that it’s not enough to keep putting their client’s face out there as many times as possible, it takes understanding how the public is swayed by a company or a person and how to put your best face forward. It’s also a lot more affordable than blindly throwing ads in local papers here and there. Here are a few ways a PR agency can accelerate your career:
1. Research, research, research
It might not have occurred to you right away, but PR agents are amongst the best researchers when it comes to understanding the image that their client is trying to purport, the focus group that their client is trying to appeal to or would fit with the best, what important trends are in full-swing or are up-coming, as well as many other aspects of image-building that the client might need to be successful with.
This research also makes PR agents the most qualified people for finding your target audience and finding out where you can reach them. For example, if you own a chain of automotive garages, you do not want to have your ads appear in a fashion magazine. This is the difference between enlisting the expertise of a PR agency or just settling for a standard ad agency.
2. Networking is the key
Another benefit that clients can enjoy from their PR agencies is the expansion network that they have amassed from years of working with different clients. Since many PR agents were journalism students or journalists before they began their careers in a PR agency, they have a wealth of connections with different news and media outlets. This helps get their client’s image off the ground.
How a PR agency achieves these connections much more effectively than an advertising agency by instilling a loyalty with these connections. This helps them appeal to smaller, more localized media outlets to push your image, but it could also work on a more macroscopic scale with larger more mainstream publications in larger markets depending on the size of your business.
3. Experts in damage control
A terrible business mishap can happen to anyone. Maybe a press release did not go exactly as planned or a marketing campaign’s good intentions were taken the wrong way. The PR agency is immediately on the ball with what is called “damage control”, which means that they will jump in to stop any more bad press from getting out and to convince everyone that you’re not public enemy number one.
Managing a crisis is one of the more prominent talents that PR agents feature and it is a trait that advertising agencies simply do not come with. One of their biggest tactics is that PR agents try to put a positive spin in the wake of public image disaster.