Marijane Funess July 29, 2014 | 09:07:26

5 Reasons To Hire A PR Firm Today

Thirty thousand new products are launched each year and 95% fail – for reasons as varied as bad timing, a cluttered market or just a poorly conceived idea. But one thing many successful new products have in common is a focused, well executed marketing plan that includes public relations. A good PR plan is never a panacea, but a sound, strategic campaign for a new product or service can help build brand awareness and positive word-of-mouth as well as help fuel trial. Here are five reasons companies need to consider hiring a PR firm today.

PR can tell the most in-depth story.  A typical article on a news website is about 800 words. A radio or TV interview might be three minutes. Each illustrates the rich and varied opportunities a PR placement provides to get into the fine points of a new entry and help explain how your product is different from the competition.

PR can turn on a dime. Got breaking news about your product or service? Nothing can move more quickly than PR person with a pitch and a press release! Unlike advertising with its multiple iterations, often lengthy approval and purchasing processes- once the client and the agency have approved the message and direction, the good, well-worded query to a reporter can produce results in the time it takes you to read this post!

PR begets more PR. Once an effective PR angle catches fire with one media outlet, others will want to cover. Yes, this is an open secret among professionals. So it follows that the savvy PR person takes the first coverage and tweaks the accompanying pitch to broaden the interest. For example, broadcast outlets may not be interested until a story hits print and a good vertical hit can often presage more general market media.

PR can extend a modest marketing budget creatively and with flair.  A good PR campaign can attract attention through so many cost-effective vehicles! The best campaigns have some combination of  kick-off “event” (though it may not be a physical press briefing) or clever deliveries to media as well as ongoing outreach that “slices and dices” business, trade, and consumer angles to extend coverage. Of course, the bloggers warrant their own PR efforts and a campaign targeting lifestyle, tech or other bloggers can be implemented very reasonably.

PR is the gift that keeps on giving. Every new line extension, company expansion or customer acquisition can be a reason to communicate to the right press. But the catch here is that earned media coverage can have a long gestation period. So, it pays to start early, and the benefit is that coverage often continues after the program concludes. A forward-thinking PR team is always looking for the next story and knows how to continuously “reboot” and give media a new angle to cover a company story.

Are we biased? Of course! But look around, there’s plenty of evidence that, with the right strategy and the proper team, PR is a wise marketing investment.

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