PR Agency Bristol
Do You Need a PR Agency?
There are a number of factors to take into account when considering whether to hire a PR agency. One way of deciding is to ask yourself the following questions:
Good PR agencies write press releases, distribute them to targeted media outlets, make follow-up calls, and often have established good relationships with many journalists. Therefore, with cost not being an issue, almost every small to medium sized company would hire the services of a PR agency. However, PR agencies can be expensive so the question is whether that money could be better spent elsewhere.
If gaining media exposure is central to the success of your company then you may be better off recruiting the services of a PR agency. New innovative companies often take this line. As Joe Nicassio says below, a successful public relations strategy is not one that results in exposure in a couple of national newspapers. To be truly effective consistency is required – public relations should be an ongoing process, week after week.
"Public Relations is a craft that requires passion. You may need PR, and you may even have the people to conduct your public relations, marketing, advertising campaigns but that's not enough. To be truly effective, your PR campaigns must be conducted with passionate consistency," says Joe Nicassio, author of Guerrilla PR Brand Manager
Always assess what your competitors are doing. If they are receiving a significant amount of press coverage and you aren’t then why not? Once one company becomes established in...
Public Relations Ideas
At the heart of every successful press campaign is a good idea. If you are a small company who's just had a successful year, or a start-up company launching a similar product to what already exists, however well written and targeted your press release is it won't generate any media coverage.
What's required is an excellent idea, a twist, something a little quirky. How do people generate these? Well, there are a few tricks of the trade that are used:
Surveys and Statistics
The press love surveys. They like to know that 69% of people are against this plan, or that 1 in 3 people are now obese. Tap into this and conduct a couple of surveys about issues surrounding your business.
Ideally these surveys should be conducted by an independent body to ensure credibility but this isn't always necessary. For example, if you have a website why not ask your visitors to vote on the latest issue. Then use the results to build your next press release.
Anything slightly out of the ordinary, unique or unusual makes an excellent story. Consider the case of homeowners renting out their driveways to earn extra money whilst also helping to alleviate parking problems in towns and cities. This innovative unusual idea helped to get YourParkingSpace.co.uk into The Evening Standard.
However, you don't need an innovative product or service to do something quirky. It was only a few years ago that a baby products company recruited pregnant women to walk through the streets in London with adverts on their stomachs. A ridiculous idea but one that received national coverage.
Similar to quirkiness journalists like extremes - the best, the worst, the largest, and so on. Just be sure that you can back up your claims.
When celebrities are involved the story or the product is far less important. The simple case of signing up a celebrity is often enough to generate substantial media interest.
The Cost of PR Activities and Hiring a PR Agency
The cost of hiring a PR agency varies greatly depending on how established the agency is and the level of service that you require. Large companies can pay tens of thousands of pounds on generating PR, an amount of money that would put many small businesses out of business.
Generally you can look to hire a PR agency on a one-off or on-going basis. PR should be a continuous process but you may be happy with generating some initial media coverage, then managing your PR activities in-house.
As a one-off basis some companies will simply put together a press release, send it out, and hope that it delivers results. This costs in the region of £200 - £400 and is low cost but risky in that results are far from guaranteed.
Online press release services usually cost slightly less, in the region of £70 simply to distribute a press release online to £400 for idea generation, writing and distribution.
High-end PR firms can charge anything from £1,000 to several thousand pounds for a single press release. However, for this they take time to understand your company, its industry and goals, before generating ideas, writing a press release, distributing it to a targeted media audience, and following it up with phone calls.
Many PR firms will also act as media centre taking enquiries from journalists and may offer a guarantee of some kind, which can reduce the risk of spending thousands of pounds for no end product.
Once you’re established in business you may wish to hire a PR agency on an on-going basis. For this they will put together a couple of press releases each month, and develop a longer term PR strategy. The cost for this generally starts at £1,000 per month.
You may also wish to complement your traditional PR activities through generating buzz in other ways, such as guerrilla marketing or getting bloggers to write about your company . You can post ‘opportunities’ on PayPerPost for bloggers to write about, with these opportunities being based around the latest news surrounding your company. This form of marketing can cost as little as £2 per blog that writes about your company.
If you decide to hire a PR agency here’s a checklist to follow before choosing one particular firm: