Top PR Agencies You Should Check Out
In the past, advertising was the key to succeeding as a business. This is because advertising allowed you to reach a large customer base. Reaching a large customer base is still important, but traditional advertising methods are not as effective. This is largely due to an oversaturation of ads online, as well as much more competition from digital stores. Instead of using advertising to reach customers, more businesses are using public relations (PR) agencies.
Instead of directly selling a service, PR agencies create a brand for your business. Your brand helps you stand out from the competition, and keeps your business at the top of your customer’s mind. In addition to building your brand, PR agencies also protect your reputation, which helps retain customer loyalty. PR firms also help conduct market research to determine which parts of your business work and where you need to improve.
Because of online shopping, customers can purchase items from around the world. While this is convenient for customers, it creates additional challenges for businesses, especially smaller ones. Not only are you competing against local businesses, but also giant online marketplaces such as Amazon. In order to stand out among the competition, you need a strong brand.
Customers are more likely to purchase from a brand they trust. Customers also prefer brands because promoting your brand is not as intrusive as advertising your products. Customers know advertisements will always positively display a product, no matter the quality. As a result, they are less likely to trust ads. With a brand, customers trust your company, believing you sell quality products based on your positive reputation.
Maintaining a brand is difficult, especially for smaller businesses. If you are just getting started, a few negative reviews tarnishes your brand. PR agencies stay ahead of negative reviews to protect your brand. Part of this includes reaching out to critics and either dispelling their negative reviews, or working with them to provide a more positive experience. A good PR agency can flip a negative reviewer into a loyal customer.
Finding the Right Agency
There are many PR agencies to choose from. It is important to research potential firms to find which one is best for you. Some PR firms specialize in a specific type of PR, such as only managing social media. For an online business, this is fine, but larger businesses still need traditional press releases and market research.
While you are searching for an agency, you must set a budget. Many PR agencies charged based on the services you need. You must also decide if you want ongoing services, or want to run a short PR campaign. Running a campaign sis less expensive, costing between $1,000 and $1,500 a month, based on the company. In comparison, ongoing services normally run between $3,000 to $5,000 based on the agency as well as your needs.
When you negotiate with an agency, be upfront with your budget. Many PR firms work exclusively with smaller businesses and know how to make the most out of a limited budget. PR firms understand the importance of branding better than any other businesses. They know that, if you are satisfied with their services after a smaller project, you are much more likely to hire or recommend them in the future. As a result, they are willing to stretch your budget and provide quality services to ensure your satisfaction.
Once you narrow in on potential agencies, do not be afraid to ask for past examples of their work during the initial meeting. Be prepared to answer questions about your business as well. PR firms are only effective if they understand exactly what you need and the nature of your business. You must also be willing to work with the agency. While the agency does the majority of the work, they still require direction from your business.
SKDK is one of the largest PR firms, focusing on press releases, general advertisements and digital influences. They run their own market research department and even provide legal support if your company is slandered in the press. For larger businesses, SKDK even participates in congressional investigations. Some of their notable clients include Gillette, American Airlines and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Golin is a progressive PR agency, known for being one of the earliest firms to emphasize online PR work. The company also prides itself on providing top market research, helping both large and small businesses identify what they need to do to build and maintain their brand. In addition to basic PR services, they also help with employee engagement, content discovery and crisis management. Golin employs firms for specific audiences as well, including a team for LGBT customers and influencer marketing. Their top clients include Pepsi, Mattel and Lexus.
Makovsky started as a small PR firm, but thanks to their online influence, has become one of the largest agencies. Makovsky not only helps develop your brand, but works with your top management so they understand how to support your brand. In addition to general PR services, Makovsky also helps smaller businesses present their brand to investors to secure additional funding.
5W Public Relations
5W works with both small and large businesses, helping to build a strong, reputable brand. The agency has multiple teams available, either for marketing to other businesses or general customers. In addition to reputation management and event planning, the company also runs social media accounts and partners with both online influencers and celebrities to help promote your brand.