In recent weeks there has been a multitude of PR firm acquisitions by multinational Public Relations conglomerates. This excitement and investment stems from the continued PR growth opportunities that exist, largely, due to increased demand of services by businesses across all nations.
While the airline industry is also seeing intense mergers & acquisitions, I believe PR acquisitions and growth is a nod to our gearing up for a time of intense growth. The PR field is an intense period of reinvention, adapting new and advanced media, and most of all, offering a large return on investment. Part of the breakthrough came through the economic downturn. As social media expands and opens the media world and as the advertising industry changes, intense PR and marketing campaigns are showing a real ROI.
PR brings a mature approach to strategic planning and management; be it reputation management, brand, media or crisis management. It provides a devoted attitude to research-based practices, allows for accurate evaluation and success measurement tools, and represents the use of social and online media for marketing and positioning goals. Furthermore, it is no secret that some sectors rely heavily upon their reputation in order to attract clients. In the legal sector for instance, law firms are encouraged to improve AVVO rating if they want to establish credibility. Client reviews, endorsements, and awards all make a difference to a law firm’s reputation, and as a result are sought after attributes. Additionally, there are different social media management tools available to use whether through PR agencies or direct marketing through the individual or business. For example, the social media management arena is now handled by PR agencies.
Some tips when utilizing PR to grow your entrepreneurial venture:
Free Media: Breaking the myth about how news is made is a personal favorite. The right PR agency will have proper media relations skills. Knowing the in and outs of media and having relationships with journalists of all kinds is a necessity.
Strategic Planning: Utilize the right PR firm that asks strategic questions: Who are your audiences? Are there new publics and markets that haven’t been tapped and how can we reach them through PR? But, don’t let them fool you into a big, fancy consulting agreement which takes months to provide results.
The Message: PR can craft the comprehensive message that covers multiple aspects of your business. Through PR the “what I stand for” gets a practical role.
Evaluation: The most neglected stage in many marketing and advertising campaigns is a component that no PR campaign can be considered complete without. “Is this working for us?” is a question that you can get a good and visual answer for. PR has matured much since the days it used to measure success by mere number of media placements and clippings. Goals and objectives today are much more advanced and are based on its core strategic competencies. These include change in public behavior, predispositions, reputation and market position. Yes, it’s nice to get many media placements, but has all this activity contributed to the ultimate goal of improving your reputation for something?
Costs: In a nutshell – not what you thought. PR today attracts more small businesses and individuals due to the fact that for every dollar you inject into your campaigns your return is guaranteed to exceed your expectations.
We are blessed to be in the center of a flourishing industry and one that only gains more momentum every day. Although PR crises this year have put the limelight on our actions, you will find Public Relations growing in the routine work, as well. The process of becoming one of the strongest industries within the media & communications field has reached a milestone now that the playing field was “cleared” and cleaned by recent mergers.