A public relations agency and an advertising agency may appear to have the same basic objective–to make a business or brand more widely known about and viewed as honest, trustworthy, successful, important, exciting and relevant. But even though they share a lot in common and they are sometimes confused with one another, there are some fairly major differences.
In truth, public relations does not involve buying ads, creating brand logo designs, putting up billboards or designing catchy jingles. Instead, public relations specialists promote companies (or individuals) through what is considered earned media. Specifically, this includes stories on websites, in newspapers and magazines and on television programs. These media channels are considered markedly more trustworthy and respected by individuals, as they cannot simply be paid for and designed any way the business desires–they present what a third party considers to be the truth.
According to the Public Relations Society of America, public relations involves the anticipation, analyzation, and interpretation of public opinions, attitudes, and issues as they affect the business or brand. A public relations agency, therefore, becomes deeply involved in counseling a business as they conduct business.
However, they must also consider what actions are necessary to help keep the public adequately informed as to the business’ true intentions and objectives. That said, some of the tools they may use in order to do this include:
For the most part, a business that wants to build, protect or enhance their reputation should hire a PR agency to help them. A public relations agency analyzes the business as it stands presently. Then, it finds positive messages about the business and turn those positive messages into media stories to expand their reach to the public.
So if negative messages about the business arise, the public relations agency can evaluate the situation and determine which response will be best to address the situation openly and honestly. In so doing, the agency can significantly mitigate the potential or real damages. In this case, the public relations agency attempts to create an alternate view of the business for the public. Instead, they just smooth a business’ ability to successfully talk with the public so that the public knows the business and what they offer.
A public relations agency can help a business or brand to find their voice. For one thing, they understand the marketplace and therefore which tactics start positive communications and which start negative communications with the public. They can also advise a business on just how strong they need to stand in a particular position in order to appear innovative and successful.
While it is understandable that a business may want to develop an in-house public relations team, it is important to realize that a third-party public relations agency offers experience over all else.
First of all, a third-party public relations agency holds absolutely no personal bias toward the business or brand. Therefore, that makes them more likely to view the business objectively, seeing both the strengths and the weaknesses therein.
Second, an established public relations agency has formed excellent relationships with many journalists across many industries. In fact, many of the professionals who work for public relations agencies worked themselves as former journalists, and therefore have a detailed understanding of precisely how to successfully pitch a story and gain the attention of editors and reporters.
Finally, while working with a public relations agency, a business can speak up about the messages they wish to promote and where they would like to promote them. That way, the public relations agency helps the business become more visible and favorable to the public.
For more information about the benefits of hiring a public relations agency, contact Web Content Development today.
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