Comments Off on Yes, Your Brand Should Have a PR Agency Partner

Yes, Your Brand Should Have a PR Agency Partner

It’s not an easy time to be an agency PR pro. Trust in the media is at its lowest point in decades. Publisher walls between paid and editorial are disappearing. Earned media budgets are being slashed. Brands are dropping agency clients as they bring more work in house.

These trends have resulted in canceled pitches, cut and reallocated budgets, and agency layoffs. But the reality is that the role of a brand’s PR agency has never been more important than it is right now. For brands evaluating their PR teams and budgets this year, consider these nine benefits to having a PR agency partner.

  1. Integration – Agencies provide a third-party perspective to identify synergies and drive opportunities to add value across the organization. In-house PR pros are often too silo’ed, especially in large organizations, to connect the dots across multiple teams and functions.
  2. Drive business results – While in-house PR pros focus on telling their organization’s story, agencies are experts at creating narratives that differentiate brands in the market. This creates brand preference that drives the upper funnel and positive business impacts.
  3. ROI – Although a relatively small part of an overall marketing budget, PR represents one of the strongest dollar-for-dollar investments a brand can make, and helps make the overall marketing investment to work harder.
  4. Experience – Agencies employ PR pros with decades of PR experience who are able to provide strategic counsel based on experiences with dozens of other brands across many different industries.
  5. Strategic Focus – Agencies have the ability to focus on long-term strategies rather than the day-to-day challenges and deadlines that can distract internal staff.
  6. Flexibility – A PR agency partner gives brands the ability to easily pivot to different tactics by pulling in different team members and skill-sets on an as-needed basis.
  7. Unbiased Perspective – Agencies can offer honest, unbiased POVs rooted in best practices that help identify strengths and weaknesses that may be hidden to internal staff.
  8. Brand Protection – Insulated from the brand’s own internal politics, agencies proactively identify internal weak spots and emerging news trends that could have a negative impact and develop strategies for avoiding and/or mitigating that impact.
  9. Talent Attraction, Development, and Retention – There’s a reason top PR talent go to agencies instead of brands – they offer top-notch mentoring, professional development opportunities, and diverse experiences. Most brands struggle to provide these types of resources and experiences necessary to attract and retain top PR talent.

Maybe the trends I mentioned at the beginning of this post have you considering cutting your PR agency budget or canceling that RFP, but the pendulum will always swing back. That could be during the next crisis, or the next election, or the next missed opportunity. Consumers have higher expectations for brands than they used to and the brands that invest in their relationships with all their stakeholders – employees, customers, the planet, their communities – will not only survive, but thrive.

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Brand Marketing and the Fair Pay to Play Act

September 30, 2019 will be the date that changed NCAA athletics forever. Maybe. Or Not. Who knows at this point? That’s the date California passed the Fair Pay to Play Act. California’s Senate Bill 206 made it the first state to mandate deep reforms over how college athletes are compensated for their efforts. Right now, […]

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Comments Off on Our Flaws Are Our Strengths

Our Flaws Are Our Strengths

I get distracted easily. I don’t call my mom nearly often enough. I’m sometimes, ok, oftentimes, arrogant. I have constant anxiety over the fact that I give presentations talking about how success isn’t measured using impressions and likes, yet I find myself building client reports that do exactly that. I’ve sent emails complaining about how […]

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Comments Off on Social Media Could Have Transformed Marketing — Instead, It Amplified Its Flaws

Social Media Could Have Transformed Marketing — Instead, It Amplified Its Flaws

This article originally appeared in MediaPost. In 1999, Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger said the Internet would turn markets into conversations, audiences were actual human beings, and companies would come down from their ivory towers to create meaningful relationships. Eight years later, I read their book, “The Cluetrain Manifesto.” Social media […]

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