Today’s discerning consumers and business owners pay a lot of attention to branding and public recognition. Successful businesses must develop solid working relationships with media outlets if they want to build brand awareness and public trust, which is where PR firms come in. Read on to find out about a few of the most compelling reasons all businesses should partner with reputable PR firms to get the help they need managing public relations.

Objective Evaluation

Business owners often have a hard time determining what company events are truly newsworthy. Newsrooms make the determination based on a few criteria, including:

• Timing

• Locality

• Magnitude

• Prominence

• Human interest

A PR expert can help clients distinguish between events or ideas that meet these criteria and those that don’t. PR firms study businesses and their products or services from a remote standpoint, making it easier for them to remain objective about what will resonate with both newsrooms and target audiences. Business owners can visit to find out about one innovative firm that can help.

Industry Connections

Public relations agencies specialize in working with the media. They have extensive arrays of industry contacts that can provide free publicity for businesses. Journalists, editors, and publicists are more likely to read and accept pitches from familiar sources. PR firms also go out of their way to research and build relationships with journalists who work within specific industries.

Traditional journalists and news editors aren’t the only industry connections PR firms maintain. These companies also keep up-to-date with social media trends, forming connections with influencers who can help to promote events, products, or services and portray the company in the best possible light. They are also familiar with digital content creation, making it easier for PR firms to create connections with modern, online-only industry leaders.

Help with Press Kits

Journalists request press kits from business owners when they write stories about them. PR firms know exactly what to include in these press kits. By giving the journalists basic information such as director profiles, business histories, news releases, and photographs, the firms help to ensure their clients’ reputations will be strengthened by media portrayals.

Staying Relevant

Some business owners hire PR firms for a few months and then let them go after they have accomplished a specific goal, thinking it will save them money in the long run. That’s a terrible idea. The only way for a modern company to stay relevant is to make sure editors, journalists, bloggers, and social media influencers are still talking about their products or services. When the hype from one successful PR campaign dies down, business owners who don’t maintain solid PR strategies will lose clients or customers.

The best PR strategies include multi-tiered approaches to generating hype and encouraging conversations about the company. That doesn’t just include making sure the public knows about changes in management or company policies and new products or services.

PR experts can help to increase executives’ credibility by creating bylined articles they can use videos or podcasts on peripheral subjects to redirect the conversation to the company and its leaders. No matter what strategies the firm uses, they should encompass both traditional media and online resources.

Increased ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is one of the most important metrics for evaluating the success of both advertising and PR campaigns. Some companies measure ROI only as a product of increased sales, but that’s not the only appropriate way to think of this metric. ROI is also reflected by increased web traffic, social media engagement, referral business, and speaking engagements for senior executives.

Certain PR campaigns can increase sales dramatically, seemingly overnight. Getting a client placed on a major television network, for example, is a huge win. Business owners may see their sales increase dramatically, but the results won’t last. Those 15 minutes of fame will produce only temporary increases in sales, not a significant ROI.

Having an ongoing working relationship with a respectable PR firm will provide long-term results. Business owners won’t just see sales spike for a day or a week, then return back to their pre-campaign levels. They’ll get the help they need to continue attracting positive attention to generate brand awareness and grow their companies.

Crisis Management

Crisis management is the first thing average consumers think of when they hear the phrase “public relations,” and not without reason. When a crisis hits, it can wreak havoc on the company’s credibility and substantially reduce sales volumes. PR experts know how important it is to mitigate the damage of PR crises and take action immediately to protect their clients’ reputations.

One mistake that business owners often make is waiting until the company is facing serious trouble to start looking into PR agencies. It’s actually much more effective to have a team of experts already familiar with the company, its mission, and its values available to help as soon as the crisis hits. That requires building a relationship with a PR firm while everything is still going smoothly, not waiting until the company’s reputation has already been badly damaged.

Build Positive Brand Recognition

A good PR firm will work with other marketing experts to build brand recognition. This takes time. It’s like a marathon, not a sprint. Business owners need to get in the race as early as possible if they want to see positive results. Growing media visibility over the course of years will amplify brand recognition and help to mitigate potential PR crises should they arise.

The Bottom Line

PR experts do their best work when they are able to build relationships with clients over time. Business owners who are serious about growing their companies can’t afford to take a piecemeal approach to public relations. They need to find experts familiar with their industries who can help them develop a positive reputation and generate continuous interest to build brand awareness and increase ROI. It’s always best to work with a boutique PR firm that takes on only a select number of clients and ensures that each company is treated like the only one.