What Does a Public Relations Firm Do?
Journalists searching for material will often publish them as human interest stories. This provides an opportunity for the PR professional to present material that will reflect favorably on the client’s public image.
The PR professional usually has good relationships with many members of the press and actively cultivates new ones. For this marketing tactic to be successful, the PR professional should be knowledgeable about the client and understand what he does. They should also be in tune with what material the journalists perceive as a good fit for a story idea. As former journalists, the staff at Insider Media Management has experience with this first-hand.
The relationship between the PR professional and the journalist is an important one. A journalist is much more likely to read a story or press release if it comes from a known source.
Public Relations Firms and Market Research
In order for public relations specialists to know what is relevant in terms of media placement, they must perform market research.
They need to understand what topics will influence public opinion and whether they will reflect positively or negatively on the company. Therefore, they must continuously analyze the public forums to gauge the response of publications regarding policy changes and their social impact.
The PR professional must work in tandem with the client to ensure that the public remains informed. Additionally, it should be ascertained that the communications are understood in a manner that is beneficial to the company’s interests.
The placement of the publications is also relevant. Company news and related articles must be published in sources germane to the product or service in order to reach their intended audience.
How Can a Public Relations Firm Help Me?
Another function performed by a public relations firm is they put together press kits for their clients. Often journalists will request a press kit. The press kit usually includes the following items:
• Company history
• Additional press releases
• Executive profiles
• Product descriptions
• Organizational charts
Technology Used in Today’s Public Relations Firms
Websites and e-mail have created a new forum for press releases. Although press releases can now be e-mailed to journalists, the volume they receive is often overwhelming. This could result in a press release being overlooked or discarded. A well-designed website can create a positive image and further the company’s agenda.
Websites are an excellent tool for releasing information to the media. Digital press kits and photographs can be uploaded to the website. PR firms also use social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace that focus on user-generated content to communicate with potential customers.
This entails posting on message boards and responding to people’s questions and concerns.
Blogging is another way that PR firms may effectively communicate with the public. It is also a useful source of gathering information on competitors. Public relations firms can also assist in generating content for sites such as YouTube, which provides visual content through streaming video.
Press Conferences and Special Events
Public relations professionals are also employed to handle press conferences when appropriate. They are prepared to respond to reporters as they usually anticipate the most probable questions that are likely to be asked.
Public relations specialists are trained to steer answers in the appropriate direction to create a positive image for the company.
They are also knowledgeable in communicating appropriately in time of crises. The PR specialist will often coordinate events such as fundraisers or community projects. This provides the company an opportunity to show community awareness as well as generates positive media exposure.