The days of the lone PR guy, cranking out press releases, called on only when someone majorly screws up, are over. Today’s PR operations are tech-savvy, multifaceted, well-oiled machines that perform on numerous levels and serve as key players in the company’s overall strategic vision.
The eighth Public Relations Generally Accepted Practices study, recently published by the Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center at USC Annenberg, shows that 40 percent of the respondents experienced growth in the number of PR staff. This outnumbers those whose staff decreased or remained unchanged. Among the industries expecting more growth next year are energy, transportation, insurance, finance, natural resources and professional services.
Why you, too, might need more PR assistance:
If you have a brand representative, PR professionals can help get you ready for prime time. There are many ways to discuss your company with the public, from media interviews to speaking engagements, but if you’re not ready, you will have missed a key opportunity to showcase your brand in a positive light. Make sure anyone authorized to speak on your company’s behalf, from the CEO to senior staff, is prepared to shine when those microphones are turned on.
If you’re not blogging, you should, and PR can help with that. Blogging is not just for bored housewives and wannabe writers anymore. With the explosion of social media, you now have numerous opportunities to get your name in front of potential clients, and blogging consistently is a way to do that while also providing value to your customers. Blogging can also help improve your standing on search engines, moving you toward the top of the page.
If you don’t know what people are saying about your company online, PR can find out. Research shows that approximately 70 percent of consumers look up information online before making a purchase. In addition, while you are conducting background research on potential hires, they’re checking out your company, as well. Today, if prospective customers and top recruits don’t like what they read about your reputation, either as a responsible company or a considerate employer, they will go elsewhere without hesitation.
If you want to increase the amount of earned media you receive, turn to PR. Consumers consider earned media more trustworthy than advertising. It’s the equivalent of an independent third party extolling the benefits of your company. Examples include news articles and product reviews.
If you can’t figure how to make the best use of new technology, PR will show you the way. Location-based apps and video production are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than a few methods you can use to bring your message directly to your target audiences.
If you’ve never hired a PR firm, start now. With all the publicity, promotion and reputation issues to handle, it can be a lot to take on by yourself – but you don’t have to go it alone.
Axia PR can work with you as a trusted advisor and strategic partner to help you achieve the maximum attention for your company. Register today for our 60-Second Impact program and let us show you how.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.
Photo credit: Thinkstockphotos.com