2014. New year, new goals and opportunities for companies to launch products, forge identities or re-brand. What better way for a consumer marketing pro to accomplish some of these tasks than to partner with the right public relations firm?
If you find yourself in this position, here are some of the best ways to gain executive support for hiring external PR counsel.
PR by the numbers. Do your homework and frame the case for retaining a PR firm by demonstrating how positive PR and reputation management can impact awareness, customer attitudes, and website traffic. PR is a discipline that brings vital information back into an organization for analysis and action. It has real, measurable impact on the achievement of strategic organizational goals.
Gain buy-in from peers first. Before you take your sales effort up the chain, move laterally, approaching managers in other divisions who will benefit from PR counsel and impact. In so doing, you will gain important support as well as see what kind of roadblocks you may face when approaching the C-suite.
Consider the opportunity cost of not having an agency partner. Organizations without a professional media relations strategy are in danger of being overlooked and disregarded. Those without representation can miss out on opportunities to be part of larger conversations that can positively impact reputation and brand building, consumer engagement, sales generation, issues management and constituent attitudes and behaviors.
Know your company’s PR track record. Has the PR function always been in-house or has the marketing team historically “burned through” firms that weren’t right for them? Knowing how your organization has handled public relations in the past can inform how you package your external support “ask” today.
What’s in it for management? Finally, know how to sell in outside agency services beyond the benefits to company and product image. Tell your CEO what personal and professional gains can be realized through a strategic thought leadership campaign. These can include industry recognition via byline articles and corporate speaking appearances as well as broadcast and other interview opportunities to make leadership more well known to customers and the public at large.
Make sure your company realizes its full potential in 2014.