Why Hire a PR Firm?
Public relations is about identifying the newsworthy information and expertise presented by your company, and clearly communicating that insight to the media. Maintaining a relationship with a PR firm like Walker Sands, in particular, has several business benefits. We help by:
Making Your Life Easier
Peapod, the food delivery service, provides customers with the convenience of eliminating the need to physically drive to the store and go grocery shopping. You select the food online and it’s delivered straight to your door. PR can be comparable to this. We bring you content that helps to establish you as a thought leader. When we talk with our clients we are able to translate their words into a published article. No need to write a lengthy editorial or contributed article; we have the resources in-house to execute this on your behalf. We’ll have a conversation with you and transcribe your ideas into a well-written thought leadership article. In fact, several of our clients have regular columns in Entrepreneur, Smart Business and other business publications.
Making You More Profitable
PR works, and we love when clients let us know it’s working for them. We have clients who get phone calls from prospective customers, friends and even past acquaintances reconnecting with them after seeing an article. It’s our goal to be partners with our clients, so that when you have a sale as a result of PR activities, we’ll celebrate right along with you. If a client Googles your company, for instance, seeing your executive quoted in some of the leading trade and consumer publications will certainly speak highly of your expertise — potentially being the factor that pushes them to engage with you.
Offering You a Competitive Advantage
We recently had a client comment for a story that ran on Fox News, for example. The media included a link to our client’s website, which is great for Search-Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes and for driving additional people to learn about their business. It’s likely that your competition is also vying for a spot in the news. With a PR firm actively pitching reporters for you every day, you have a leg up. Staying top of mind to reporters is critical, so that when they call, we can put them in touch with you (and they don’t go to your competition for a quote).
Lowering Your Risk
In my mind, public relations can in some sense be compared to an insurance policy. Articles mentioning your company’s expertise and insight into your line of business allows you to lower your risk of a naked cold call when you try to make a sale. Referencing that you’ve appeared in The Wall Street Journal or a select trade publication like Internet Retailer, will help validate your company much like a client testimonial would. After all, news articles are intended to be objective; referencing your expertise certainly will add credibility to your company name.
So why, you might say, can’t I just do this myself?
Well, several things come into play. As a PR firm, we have access to a large repository of reporter contact information and can pinpoint exactly who might want to cover a certain story. Good media relations specialists will know who to target, and when and how they prefer to be contacted. It may seem trivial, but weekly, monthly and daily publications each have their respective deadlines that dictate how often reporters are seeking sources and story ideas. Keeping tabs of this and knowing reporters on a personal basis can play a huge role in the coverage you receive.
At Walker Sands, we are also uniquely positioned to know what reporters look for in a story, as many of us come from a journalism background ourselves. To be good at PR you need to be good at reporting, with an inquisitive mind, keen sense for news and great communication skills. We put ourselves in the reporters’ shoes: many are overworked, have multiple assignments at once, and maintain both a steep learning curve and a short attention span. It’s critical to keep this in mind when pitching a story.