I am always pleased when I see an article promoting the value of hiring a public relations firm. But I take issue with much of what was said in this article about the reasons why. I gave my reasons, what else would you add?
Protection of sales. Public relations, as a corporate business investment, is a strategy that is designed to establish and maintain the brand’s presence and reputation in the marketplace. Can public relations efforts generate sales? Do we monitor the media (both traditional and digital)? Certainly, but the goal of public relations should not just be about sales or generating positive reviews, there is so much more to developing and implementing a communications strategy than that.
Reduction of salary costs. Yes, engaging in a proactive public relations campaign is an investment for a business. Both in time and money. But outside public relations counsel still requires inside support. You may reduce the salary costs associated with having a public relations practitioner in-house at your organization, but please do not consider hiring a firm as a cost-saving measure. Your internal team’s time is valuable, we know it and respect it, and we are going to need access to it.
Speed to market. Yes, public relations agencies are available to our clients 24/7/365. We take pride in being available and accessible to our clients, the media and other industry partners necessary in carrying out the communications strategy. But we must respect the internal timelines just as the in-house public relations team must. We are nimble and can respond quickly, but never without authority and approval from our clients.
So that said, here are some solid reasons to hire a public relations firm:
Public relations firms are integral and trusted partners, who will provide strategic and objective counsel to your organization. And in the event of a crisis situation, your public relations firm will be instrumental in developing crisis communications plans that ensure all responsible parties take appropriate and timely action
Public relations firms will create strategies that will allow you to proactively engage with important stakeholders such as media, online influencers, community leaders, shareholders, and public officials.
Public relations firms work across a variety of different disciplines and this expertise and understanding of a variety of businesses will prove extremely valuable for your organization.