Colleen O'Connor November 23, 2021 | 04:54:49

What PR Agencies Should Be Thankful For

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, it’s a good moment to reflect on the past year and what we’re thankful for. Personally, I’m grateful for a year of change and the possibility that after a tough  year in many ways, we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the pandemic.

As a PR agency team, we also have a lot to be thankful for at our firm. Besides the opportunity to work in a fast- paced and ever-changing environment, what else can we call out as a blessing this Thanksgiving? 

Amazing clients

Working in PR, you hear stories about challenging clients, but they are rare. While nothing’s easy, the companies we work with are high-growth businesses, and in many cases, leaders in their industries. Working to elevate their visibility feels meaningful and significant. This past year, our team has supported two IPOs for ad tech clients, with another on the way! Our goal is to work with companies as an extension of their internal marketing team, and hitting those milestones together makes all the difference. 

A strong news cycle

Who doesn’t love a news cycle that invites timely story ideas? PR people often plan out pitch calendars months in advance. Holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday shopping (for example) present both B2B and B2C PR teams with strong earned media opportunities. Our team is pitching away this week for last-minute Black Friday coverage — from tips on how retailers should offer Buy Now, Pay Later to commenting on recent supply-chain issues. The newscycle is 24/7, but opportunities like these are easy wins for coverage. We’re grateful for opportunities but work to make the most of them! 

Media moves on Twitter

An updated and current media list is a PR person’s best friend. Platforms like Cision or Muck Rack are great tools for collecting emails and researching new journalists, but in the current media landscape, information may not be updated as quickly in these databases. Pro tip: to stay up-to-date on media moves, keep an eye out for announcements on Twitter. Journalists are more likely to tweet where they are going or what their new beat will be in their next job. It pays to stay knowledgeable on where your “go to” journalists are working.

Feedback on pitches

Over the years, PR people have learned that not every pitch will generate immediate interview opportunities. While this is frustrating, there is a way to turn it from a negative situation into a positive. Instead of throwing in the towel, it helps to take feedback from media contacts – whether it be negative or positive. This feedback can also help client executives understand why they aren’t (or are) seeing immediate coverage. For example, we worked with a smart home device company and the goal was consumer media placements on the day of launch. Any good PR person knows that consumer publications have long lead times and are often tricky to crack. The media responses helped our client understand the landscape, and we did manage to secure top-tier consumer tech coverage!   

Tech tools for staying connected 

From Slack to Zoom, PR pros have gotten creative about how to stay connected in a remote environment. We still love monthly Zoom happy hours, and have explored new features on Slack for productivity. But we should also be thankful for technology that connects us to breaking news. PR people are naturally attached to the news 24/7, and there are so many different ways to stay on top – news aggregator apps, mobile alerts, social media, and Google alerts. All these tools can help PRs find new opportunities for quick comments and reactive response to breaking stories.

Hardworking PR team

This one may seem cliche, but our team really is some of the best talent in B2B PR. Every day our team amazes by going above and beyond what is expected of them. In 2021 we added several new team members who have brought extra dimensions and new perspectives on media relations and teamwork. Without them, we would not have seen such growth through the year. 

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Crenshaw Communications!

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