How you can benefit from a public relations service
Public relations services, or PR services, are used to positively affect how your company is perceived by consumers. While many people might associate public relations work with helping individuals or companies recover from events that have created negative publicity – such as product recalls, contaminations or lawsuits – the truth is that PR services are most valuable at the best of times rather than the worst.
The Benefits of Public Relations
A public relations specialist knows advanced techniques for influencing and shaping popular opinions about companies, products, services and brands. PR firms are retained by entities ranging from Hollywood stars to major multinational corporations to ensure that they have more control over their images. In fact, studies indicate that public relations efforts have much more credibility with consumers than advertising services do, partially because they're perceived as more honest and direct – even though this may not necessarily be true.
Public relations campaigns spark interest in your company and its products and services without directly advertising them – making them a cost-effective and creative way to promote yourself. You can use PR services to stimulate public interest in and demand for your products, and good PR gives you an advantage over competitors who do not use it.
Finally, public relations services offer one of the least expensive ways to increase your visibility to a mass audience. This is why PR services for small business owners are especially appealing – they deliver a lot of bang for your promotional buck.
Finding and Hiring PR Firms
There are four key factors you should use to guide your search for a good PR firm. First, consider costs. Would it be more cost-effective to retain the ongoing services of a firm, or to hire a public relations professional to join your in-house team? Second, you'll want to choose a firm in close enough proximity to your company to facilitate in-person meetings, if you'll regularly need them.
Third, look for directly applicable expertise. Hire a company that specializes in assisting businesses of your size or in your industry. Finally, find out how long the firm has been in business, what kind of marketing training its representatives have, and how frequently clients come back to use its services a second time. A high volume of repeat business is an excellent indicator of highly satisfied clients.
Public relations is a powerful marketing and branding tool. You owe it to yourself to consider how it could help your company's promotional and marketing efforts.