champagne glasses

When I worked in big TV ad agencies, we always saw PR as ‘light and fluffy’, all champagne events and memories of Ab Fab used to spring to mind. In my 20’s I was creating fabulous TV ads, with huge budgets, in some of the best creative teams in the UK.  I became rather blasé about PR, joking on with my colleagues about the value of something you couldn’t measure.

PR and ad agency executives often felt like competing toddlers for their mum’s attention, except it was the clients’ budget that we were more than often told to share, so advertising vs PR was always on the agenda.

It’s only now that I’ve grown up, after over 19 years in the business that I truly realise the real benefits of on-going PR, whatever business you’re in.

Public relations is primarily about heightening a company or product awareness and promoting a positive reputation. I have worked closely with a number of PR companies (on joint campaigns and ventures) as well as with some of the region’s best PR consultants. One thing I find lots of businesses find difficult to measure in terms of marketing is their PR.

I often meet lots of new clients who don’t do nearly enough PR activity as part of their marketing plan and have never invested in PR, as they can’t see a direct result. With PR it could take months or even years, and it is this reason why clients don’t see the value, looking at PR in the short term only.

PR can have a massive impact by keeping your company in the public eye. I don’t claim to be a PR professional, but I know that done in the right way, PR can work well with most creative marketing strategies and on its own.

Cogent & Cunning PR campaign | Maryland Cookies

I remember working at the ad agency Cogent (unfortunately not on the account team for Maryland), when their PR-led campaign for Maryland Cookies  involved ‘crashing’ giant chocolate chip cookies created by Cunning into landmarks all-over London like Trafalgar Square. This resulted in over 60 million impacts in national media alone, a brand awareness increase of just under 10% and unprecedented levels of distribution. Check out the Wall of fame and the giant cookies on Cunning’s website.

PR can not only get your business noticed but can also help win new clients and increase your business and what business doesn’t feel great when they see a good review or story on their company in print?

Working as a creative marketing agency, we’ll always recommend a suitable PR company if we think a company we’re working with needs to outsource their PR. It’s not just about churning out press releases – it’s the ability to write good story, and importantly the relationships PR people have with the journalists and press that gives them a better understanding of what will be of interest and ultimately be published.

If you’re considering outsourcing PR, some important questions to ask about how PR could work for your business are;

  • How will you measure activity?
  • Will it be boosting sales activity or increase awareness?
  • When should PR be used?
  • Where should your PR stories be placed?
  • How does it fit in with your content marketing strategy and other forms of communication?

Not all PR is as impactful as the Maryland Cookies campaign, but hiring the right PR company for your business could be crucial to building your brand and reputation.

If you need any help to find a good PR company, give us a shout and we can hook you up with one of our PR partners.

If you have any interesting views or PR news please leave us a comment below.

If you like this article, check out Getting started with a Content Marketing Plan