What exactly is Public Relations? What does a Public Relations Officer do? How can I leverage this industry’s skills to benefit my business?

If you are a start-up founder or a small-business owner who is very interested in introducing your brand to the public, these questions may be swimming in your head.

But fret not! This article will relieve your reservations and clarify your concerns. Here’s everything you need to know about Public Relations in 2022!

What is Public Relations (PR)?

The winning definition by the Public Relations Society of America says that PR is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and the public.

Because of this, it stands to reason that public relation agencies don’t help their clients buy advertisements.

Neither do they order journalists to write stories nor address shoppers’ concerns at a mall.

Instead, they persuade audiences via unpaid or earned methods — whether it is through print media, influencers, radio or even speaking engagements. In a nutshell, PR presents clients in an objective light unlike promotional advertisements.

That is why, PR specialists will need to first be very familiar with what the media wants and then communicate it to their clients, but it doesn’t stop there. They will need to come up with strategies that land in the ‘sweet spot’ between the media’s agenda and clients’ message for a successful feature.

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Still interested?

Here’s a fun fact: Do you know that the PR industry has been growing over 30% yearly for the past five years?

This means that more and more businesses are enlisting the help of PR to get their branding out and you may start to think, hey that’s a really good idea!

But hold up!

Is My Business Ready For Public Relations (PR)?

In our book One Pitch to Millions, we talk about a few factors — the first being timing. It’s always preferred for start-ups or SMEs to have both their business prototypes and the relevant statistics on traction before approaching the media with their stories.

The lack of a prototype may signal that it is too early to utilise PR services, as the media publications may not deem your business impactful enough to be featured just yet.

Another thing is to ensure that the company’s digital infrastructure is in place. Before embarking on a PR campaign, it would be wise to put your website and digital assets (such as your social media channels) in place. This ensures optimum user experience, and allows for success in pursuing leads generated from PR.

Once these factors are in place, your company can consider getting the help of a PR agency *wink*.

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Here are some case studies where SMEs have benefited greatly from PR. (INSERT LINK TO CASE STUDY PAGE)

Nevertheless, it is important to note that PR campaigns do not guarantee sales spikes or increase in customers.

Now, the next question most people have might be:

What is The Expected Timeline For PR Services?

While specific timelines may vary from company to company, here is the chronological process of a typical PR campaign:

  1. A meeting is to be organised with the client to discuss their objectives and deliverables
  2. Development of story angles for pitching to various media titles over a span of 3 / 6 / 12 months depending on the client’s contract
  3. Development of first media pitch
  4. Development of curated media list for pitch to go out to
  5. Sending of pitches out to curated media list
  6. Liaising between journalist and clients to obtain the relevant information for the journalist’s article / radio interview / broadcast interview
  7. Preparing information on the media title and interview, and sending of calendar invites if it is a physical interview
  8. Media monitoring of press coverage(s) to send to the client
  9. Preparing monthly reports to share progress / scope of completed work to the clients
  10. Repeated monthly for best results

PR is more of an awareness tool than an advertising tool. It is designed to let more people become aware of you and your business, through sharing stories of value. If your business has secured a prototype and strengthened your digital infrastructure, then it may be fitting for you to start a PR campaign to boost your brand visibility and get more customers.

Questions?

If you are a startup or an SME curious about what PR can do for you; or if you have any thoughts, we would love to have a chat with you. Contact us now.