It’s true: PR firm abandonment happens. Sometimes companies select a public relations firm to help achieve new message goals, and then run out of time or forget all about it.
Generally, a decision-maker takes the lead and decides the company will benefit from professional PR services. The organization carefully brings an experienced firm onboard and together they establish its challenges and start planning a strategy. Then, the natural tasks required to manage the business prevent the organization from keeping the PR process at the top of the agenda. It’s PR firm abandonment, and the impacts include missed opportunities for online reputation growth and management; lost opportunities for successful crisis response; and delayed overall brand recognition that helps create a more loyal audience base.
1. One challenge that can delay progress is a lack of transparency on the part of a business or organization when offering information to the PR firm. This will lessen the value received from a PR investment, and it can lead to disaster, especially when the firm is told one thing and acts on it, only to find out too late that it didn’t get the truth, or at least the whole picture. For example, not sharing complete information about revenues, growth or the number of people employed can backfire if a crisis emerges and the PR firm isn’t equipped with adequate information.
2. Withholding (or missing) opportunities to share good news can also impede progress when utilizing the services of a professional PR firm. Some organizations may inform their PR professionals about good news too late. This makes it more difficult to create and target news releases that achieve strong earned news coverage. Additionally, smart PR professionals need time to reach out to select contacts and plan a distribution strategy when it comes to sharing news – so organizations that have a continual flow of news ideas to their PR firms will see higher success.
3. Like every industry, PR professionals work on deadlines, which means they need to get their interviews compiled, information organized and projects completed. Organizations that are unable to honor deadlines will miss opportunities. The more timely response to information, photos or interviews your firm receives from you, the better it can help push your brand to the public and paint you in the best possible light.
4. Some organizations make the mistake of only communicating information about their top officials, such as the president and the CEO. Including the CEO or president in a news release is expected, and ensuring he or she is available on short notice is also a good idea. However, smart public relations firms will seek a list of individuals within the company who can speak from various perspectives on business and product topics. Helping your PR firm create this list can produce great results in terms of earned news coverage or reputation management.
5. While there are benefits achieved from smart PR in the short-term, the most lasting and important impacts often occur after a continual strategy is carried out over time. Some organizations may not understand that it takes a few months (or more) to gradually integrate the strategy and the tools that make great company names great in the minds of their audiences. Smart PR professionals know how to get there; it’s often step by very deliberate step.
The “overnight successes” are really a culmination of hard work, smart strategy and good PR over several years.
Ready to start sharing your ideas in a positive and rewarding PR firm partnership? Contact Axia Public Relations today. We’re ready, willing and able. (And if we seem needy at first, it’s for your benefit and the greater good of your organization. You complete us.)
by Jason Mudd, APR
Jason Mudd, APR, is the CEO of Axia Public Relations and an Emmy-Award-winning accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur. His public relations portfolio includes work for established national brands such as American Airlines, Dave & Buster’s, Florida Blue, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Ray Charles and Verizon, as well as emerging brands like Brightway Insurance, Pragmatic Works and It Works! Global.