As the internet helps this world become a small, well-connected global village, your brand has an increased opportunity to reach its target customer. You may already be on top of all your marketing efforts- be it through a very efficient in-house team, or excellent digital marketing services. Using digital agency in full force to get your audience’s attention may seem like the obvious answer, but why stop at that? Marketing after all still focuses on promotions and everyone knows it’s for driving sales.
The modern version of avoiding pushy salespeople is navigating through all the ads interrupting our surfing experience. Apart from advertising and marketing though, there’s another way of communicating about your brand, its offerings, and its victories while making it sound as authentic and genuine as possible. Cue Public Relations (PR), a way to organically talk about and maintain your company, brand, or person’s positive image. A digital PR agency will work best without spooking your customers away.
But first, let’s go over the different bases.
What’s digital PR and why do you need it?
On one side, there’s marketing where you use a mix of owned and paid platforms to talk about your brand. Then there’s the mostly credible journalistic side where you have little to no control over what the media says about your brand. PR however, lies just in that sweet spot in the middle. You enjoy authenticity along with greater control. So, with a good PR strategy in place, you really can have the best of both worlds!
Maintaining a good image is the most essential element of PR. It benefits all stakeholders, investors, customers, and everyone associated with you and your brand. While a traditional PR (using TV, radio, and newspaper) may have worked hard to do that, it still often came off as paid and preachy. The accuracy and measurability of results were also a challenge.
This was solved in digital PR which was more subtle, promoted two-way communication, was measurable, and focused greatly on delivering good-quality, value-adding content. It made you look like an industry expert authentically, without you having to shout it out loud to convince the public of the same.
How will a digital PR agency help you?
We know when you first begin your entrepreneurial journey, you and your small but dedicated supporting team run the whole show. But as your business scales, this may no longer be feasible. At this point, you’ll probably have three options- an in-house PR team doing all the work; the internal PR team working in collaboration with an expert agency; or outsourcing all the PR efforts to the agency alone. While creating your own team may seem budget-friendly at first the recurring cost of media tools among other overhead costs soon begin to pile up. Instead, you can let your in-house team collaborate with the agencies for the best results. An agency’s expertise can help you in three major domains-
- Establishing your company in the market and helping with creating an impressive brand image.
- Assist in maintaining and sustaining a good image if you’re already an established brand.
- Rescue you from the fires with their crisis management techniques.
Evaluate your needs and choose whichever option works for you!
7 THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR BEFORE YOU SEAL THE DEAL WITH AN AGENCY-
- What Are You Looking For?
When selecting an agency, start by reflecting internally. Make sure you first figure out what you want and then go on to effectively communicate that. This will help the agency understand and present to you- specific PR efforts that align with your exact goals and will help make sure you’re both on the same page!
2. Put Your Detective Hats On!
Don’t forget to get an understanding of the kind of targets the agency has already delivered for previous brands, so you know you’re in the right place at the right time. Dig deep and find out as much as you can, maybe even contact their clients (not too sneakily though), to understand their relationships and experience with the agency.
3. Plan Your Budget
Firstly, hiring an agency in itself is a big business investment. You should also check if they’ll be able to customize their offered media packages as per your budgetary needs in addition to whether you can afford their commissions and regular fees. One important perk that you’ll get to enjoy with agencies though, is that you’ll save on all the media and PR tools that you’d otherwise have to additionally invest in if you worked solo.
4. Size Matters
How this collaboration works will depend quite a lot on the size of the agency along with the clients they work with. It might affect their service quality, flexibility, and timelines.
5. What Do They Have To Offer?
Go through their offerings, ask for proof of work and check how they can add value to you as compared to some other agency. A full-service advertising agency’s PR team can take it one step ahead as it makes use of a combination of all its different expertise (copy team, creative team, and social media squad) while delivering PR solutions. Suppose you’re dealing with influencers, so a PR agency specifically for influencers may be worth exploring. Make sure to contemplate your requirements before moving ahead. Whichever type it may be, an agency will surely help bring a third-person perspective along with bringing in great connections and better deals.
6. Take Your Pick
An important thing to decide is whether you want a global or a local agency working for your brand. The global agency will have a mixed portfolio of diverse brands and hence will come with well-rounded experiences. But there’s a chance you end up getting secondary attention. At a more local agency though, because they probably have similar backgrounds as you and your target audiences (like a Mumbai-based agency for a brand catering to the needs of the metropolitan cities), you also stand the chance to hyper-localize your PR efforts while getting the attention you deserve.
7. Do You Like Them?
Sometimes after you’ve gone through the pitch, and gotten impressed by the agency itself, there’s a chance you haven’t even conversed with the main team that’ll be looking into your PR. The person of contact may be great, but you should also set up a meeting with the actual PR account handler and the team. This’ll ensure you get to know and connect with the team so you get along with them and both of you find success in this union.
Make sure you’ve answered some important questions, evaluated your needs, and understood what to expect before getting your PR efforts in gear. For any help in these matters, you can always reach out to us at Chimp&z Inc, a digital agency in India providing 360° digital PR among other marketing solutions.