[This post was written by Will Ruben, an account partner at 3Points]
During more than a few of our business development conversations with potential clients, we talk through our services and discuss how we plan to execute on them. However, there’s one common question that we hear from almost everyone, and that is, “What should I expect from PR?” And that’s a great question, especially if you’re not familiar with media relations, content creation, social media, and other services we offer.
We’re happy to provide an answer. In fact, we relish the opportunity to break down what you should expect from leveraging a PR team. Sticking to our “3Points” mantra, here are three (of the many) benefits you can gain by partnering with a boutique PR agency like 3Points:
You’ll have more control of your message.
The media are our friends. However, it can be easy for them to misunderstand your business and vision. PR teams are critical in helping you maintain greater control of your message and external communications to ensure that everything is communicated effectively to reporters, influencers, and the general public. I don’t want to give away the secret sauce, but I can say that it requires several drafts, iterations, and brainstorming sessions to get all parties on the same page.
Once you have a unified message that is communicated throughout your business, it’s time to control your narrative by creating a targeted social media strategy and pursuing outreach opportunities. Our principal, Drew Mauck, likes to say that even the CIA — an organization where secrecy is paramount — has a Twitter account. (So if your company isn’t on social media too, why not?). At 3Points, we are strong advocates of using social media to raise your profile, which leads us to our next point…
You’ll raise your profile.
We see it all the time. You have a great product and/or service, happy customers, and a strong message, but you’re not getting the name recognition you think you deserve. This is where leveraging elements of a PR strategy can be an excellent opportunity to raise your profile.
In fact, we believe this may be the right time to begin interacting with the media. You can start slow by helping reporters understand who your company’s thought-leaders are, what your message is, and how you can help them achieve their journalism goals. These conversations will often lead to them getting a better sense of your future plans and becoming more interested in your company. Forming strong media relationships with the help of your PR team often leads to mentions in important publications, which raises the profile and increases the credibility of your business. (And then you can share those placements on social media, post about them on your website, and even send the clips to your mother.)
Media mentions are just one way to begin raising your profile — involvement in events is another. Depending on your industry and target audience, there are likely several conferences and events that you can use as an opportunity to inject your business into industry conversation. Your PR firm can provide support by crafting your message and talking points prior to the event, connecting you with reporters who are attending, and even obtaining speaker roles for panels or keynotes.
You’ll begin to become established as a thought-leader.
Now that you have strong external messaging, the media understands your company vision, and you’ve seen your firm’s profile begin to grow in your industry, it’s time to begin positioning yourself as a thought-leader. This is where PR partners can step in and provide a whole lot of value. How do I know that? Because we’ve done it time and time again.
Let’s say you’re an expert on an industry issue, and reporters are looking for sources for an article that they’re working on — a PR firm can help connect you with these reporters. Because they know that our clients have a deep expertise and understanding of matters pertaining to their industry, many members of the media rely on them to help explain complex issues and trends. PR firms leverage their relationships to build a bridge between you and the media, opening the door to opportunities for you to become an expert source in important industry articles; this is the next level of media relations after the standard media mentions we discussed in the previous section. When you get such a placement, you can then share it with your network via Twitter and/or LinkedIn — amplifying these wins helps you and your company become more credible in the eyes of your target audience and industry peers.
Or, what if you have a strong opinion about an industry topic, but don’t know how to project your thoughts? Your PR team can assist in gathering your thoughts and turning those ideas into a blog post that can be shared on your company website, social media outlets, industry newsletters, and email blasts. Controlling your message on your own platforms can further build credibility for your business and help elevate you as a thought-leader.
While better controlling your message, raising your profile, and becoming a thought-leader are some of the potential benefits of PR assistance, this is not all you should expect from leveraging a PR team. It’s important to understand your business goals and discuss them with potential PR partners to help them create a targeted PR, social media, and communications strategy that will help take your business to the next level.