It is the all-important question that all start-ups and other brands need to answer: Does your brand need PR? You may push PR and marketing to the back of your mind due to budget restraints however, in an ever-changing, fast moving and uber competitive digital (and analog) landscape, PR is certainly something that should not be overlooked. If you are deliberating over taking the plunge into the world of public relations, below are a few questions to ask yourself to help you make up your mind once and for all.
What is your budget?
Whether you have pennies to spend or thousands, most PR agencies will be up for talking options when it comes to a PR strategy for your business. It’s important to have in mind exactly how much you are willing to spend on PR and marketing before you start having conversations with PR agencies however, if you aren’t sure how much a campaign should cost as you’ve never done one before, agencies will be happy to discuss their typical rate and many are flexible with this. The amount of budget you put behind PR isn’t necessarily an indicator of success because it is possible to have a hugely successful campaign on a shoestring budget.
If you are interested at all to hear how much a campaign of ours cost, do feel free to reach out – we’d love to speak to you.
What are your competitors doing?
If you note your competitors often getting coverage on national or regional websites, it’s probably because they already have a PR strategy in place. Whilst it isn’t necessary to do everything your competitors are doing – you’ll want to be doing everything they are doing and more – you don’t want to be left in the dust. Watching them hog the limelight and enabling to have that foothold as industry leaders through comments, press release and stunts will not be a joyous experience.
Competitor analysis is crucial in any case as it enables you to better establish your company, respond to changes and identify what content performs the best in your sector – most PR agencies can also assist you with this.
How is the company website performing?
PR can be directly consequential to the growth of a website and improving the DA of a site, therefore boosting your SEO and driving you closer to the top of Google’s search results. PR can build links on highly trusted news sites; this in itself will help your website grow, increase organic traffic and in turn, lead to a growing audience.
Do you have a plan in place for a crisis?
An inevitability of any business is a crisis. Negative SEO attacks are dreaded across all sectors and will have a huge impact on your visibility as a company on search engines such as Google and alongside this, bad reviews on forums or review platforms, negative press or even social media drama can have detrimental effects in your quest to gain new customers or retain the ones your already have. Having a plan in place for such events will help you bounce back as quickly and effectively as possible.
Most PR agencies, especially those that do everything in-house and therefore are able to both deal with negative SEO attacks and negative press (I’m looking at us) will be well versed in all things crises comms and will be more than happy to set out a plan for such events.
What does PR do that Advertising doesn’t?
Whilst advertising still certainly has its place, PR is often cheaper than advertising and will often get your brand in front of a wider audience. However, if budget allows PR and advertising can work in unison and be extremely effective. Advertising will get your name out there to specific, targeted audiences whilst public relations casts a much larger net. PR also enables you to build on your brand awareness, reputation and SEO whilst advertising is more about generating sales.
Advertisements also lack the credibility PR has; why I hear you ask? Well when you pay for an advert, you get to control the copy and message behind it, meaning consumers are less likely to trust what it says as obviously it is going to be bias. PR on the other hand is trusted more as you do not have control over the copy; journalists will give their honest thoughts.
Do we need to attract some new customers?
If you are considering PR the chances are you are trying to grow and attract new customers. PR will assist in getting you in front of the right audiences, getting you in the right publications and will bolster your customer base meaning you should see an increase in sales as a result of this.
We worked on the launch of Huel; a powdered food product that was able to deliver all the nutrients required by the human body. The coverage we got for them for the launch meant they sold out several times in the first month alone. You can read more about our work for Huel here.
What does success look like?
In order to know what you want from your agency, it is important to establish what success looks like for you and highlight your goals to potential PR agencies. This will enable you to better understand if your goals are achievable through the use of PR and will allow the agency to put together a bespoke plan for your business to get where you want it to be.
The above questions will help to establish if your brand needs PR but it goes without saying… if you need PR talk to us ????