Public Relations agencies promote a brand’s reputation through earned and owned media as well as paid communication. Their main aim is to endorse brand awareness and maintain promote good brand reputation.
Partnering with a PR firm helps you to tap into various channels that promote your brand. At times this all can be overwhelming especially to new business and as such you might contemplate outsourcing your PR efforts. You will always be the best spokesperson for your brand and doing your PR will give you more insight into the process and what you’re looking for which gives you a clearer expectation of what you’re to look for from a PR firm.
Before you decide on a PR firm you should do a reference check. Get information from within the business community for recommendations to find the best fit. Ask relevant questions and pay keen attention to their response. You also want to ensure that your PR goals and objectives are clear and easy to understand. A good PR agency will not only get your publicitybut publicity that will help to increase sales.
Before you decide on whether to outsource your PR efforts or to do it yourself you might want to consider the benefits and downsides.
Benefits of outsourcing PROutsourcing when correctly approached can have wide-ranging benefits to their business. There are many reasons to outsource such as
Ø Saving time
This is possibly the biggest benefit of outsourcing your PR needs. When you outsource to an agency, you can focus on the core focus of your business while allowing the firm to focus on the PR strategies.
Ø External Ideas
Outsourcing to a PR firm provides fresh ideas and an unbiased perspective on how to promote your brand. Outside perspective works because you get objective criticism that helps in the long run.
Ø Networks and Contacts
A large part of the PR industry involves networking and building contacts. PR agencies are constantly meeting new clients, which means new networks. They usually have connections with the press and media allowing you to get a connection with reporters who might cover your company. The connection a PR company has can allow you to reach your desired target audience which saves time rather than slowly building relationships with the audience you need.
The downside of outsourcing PRWhile there are clear benefits to outsourcing PR, there are some downsides to consider.
Ø Outsourcing can be costlyWhile you can assume PR is an investment and not another expense, outsourcing your PR strategies rather than doing it yourself is going to cost more than what it would cost doing it on your own. Although generally considered cheaper contractual agreements tend to be lengthy and include fine print which could contain unexpected costs.
Ø You Lose Some ControlWhileoutsourcing allows you to focus on your core business responsibilities, you lose a bit of control over how tasked are performed. If you want to maintain a large amount of control, outsourcing may not be for you.
Ø There are security risksWhen you involve a new business partner, you increase security risk. You need to do your due diligence to avoid this as much as possible if you intend to outsource. If you intend to outsource processes that include personal data, there’s the possibility that it may be passed on to other people.Ø You can do the work yourselfIf you decide to outsource ensure you have the right intention. Outsourcing just because can put you at a disadvantage. If you enjoy doing the work on your own, do it.Ø Being on the same pageYou know your company and the vision you have for it better than anyone else. It can be hard to find the right team who sees your vision the way you do. To ensure you get the most out of the merger it is important to understand who you’re working with. This could cause time and money to be wasted. It is important to find a PR agency to learn about your business and culture, so your company’s values and goals are achieved.Ø You can lose focusPR firms tend to have multiple clients at any one time. As such, your projects might not get the attention it needs. Lack of focus can harm your business.
Ø InstabilityThe outsourcing company can go out of business, or the firm decides not to supply your business anymore. Luckily, this can be fixed by finding a new supplier
Ø Service deliverySince the PR firm you hired tends to have multiple clients, you run the risk of your service falling below expectations. Some PR firms may be motivated byprofit and not necessarily the quality of the output.Ø Impacts company cultureIf you are outsourcing you need to consider the possible impact this might have on your company and take steps to ensure it doesn’t produce a negative impact. Employees may not understand why you are outsourcing and feel they are being replaced. Outsourcing can lead to friction and make the day to day workflow of the company challenging. When you outsource increase new opportunities for the external firm that grows more than your own.
Although PR agencies can help your business to be profitable and increase brand reputation, there are limitations you may face. Not every business needs to outsource its PR needs. Outsourcing your PR needs should be assessed thoroughly.