As most new businesses begin to find their way in a constantly changing world it can be difficult to tell what the next step is. At some point you hire on someone to handle the payroll and human resources and need to have the IT infrastructure in place. There are a lot of roles to be filled in the development of a business and public relations is one of those things that tends to fall to the wayside until after it has already been needed.
It is important to recognize the signs of when you really need a public relations firm. Many businesses don’t realize the value they are missing out on when they are not actively pursuing coverage in news and media relevant to what they do. Here are some important signs which may indicate the need for a PR firm.
No Plan of Action
As you further develop your business and find new ways to offer products and services to your clients each step of the way can be something to communicate to the public. Each of these steps is an opportunity to reconnect with the public and showcase how your company is innovating and expanding. It is a key opportunity to keep your company at the forefront of developments and to keep people interested in what you’re doing.
Having no plan of action for how to communicate each step your business takes can leave a negative impact on your company’s legacy. It is important to make sure you know how and what to make public and where to communicate your latest news and offerings. This is something that a public relations firm can assist in ensuring the right thing is being said at the right time to reflect your newest products and services.
Sometimes you have a new development you wish to share with the world. At this point it can be quite difficult to find the right connection to get the word out. While there are press release channels which can circulate your story, it can be quite difficult to get your word out to the right journalist or the right individual looking for a relevant story. Public relations agencies generally have strong connections with a variety of journalists in which they are able to pitch beneficial stories.
The communication component is quite important. One of the most common issues which businesses face is not really understanding their role in journalism and how it will affect their presence within the public eye. When developing a story displaying a company in either a positive or a negative light a journalist will generally try to get in touch with a company. If the journalism is unsuccessful, then the positive story may end up being replaced with a story from a company that did respond or the negative publicity could be made worse by stating that the company could not be reached for comment.
Paid Media vs Earned Media
One of the primary roles of a public relations agency is to earn your company some coverage across a number of different publications and news outlets in stories relevant to your business. While it is certainly possible to purchase advertising and stories from a number of different outlets, it can be more effective to get a positive story in the right publication or to have the right journalist on your story. If your company’s entire coverage lies in paid media and paid advertising, it might be a good sign that a public relations firm is needed.
No Public Presence
It can be quite telling when you use a search engine to find information about your company but are only able to find information which your company has published online. If there is a lack of coverage on your products and services in the media that can be an indicator to someone who is on the fence about what you have to offer to look elsewhere. Many trust established companies which have a history within their industry over those which look like they just showed up out of the blue.
A PR agency is capable of producing positive publicity for your company to ensure that not only is there publicity for your company, but individuals performing a "background check" on your company will have a lot of positive news in front of them. This can be one of the largest benefits of hiring a PR agency.