Companies who are looking for a firm to handle public relations should be sure that these firms are going to meet their needs. One thing that every company should be sure to look for in a PR firm is a commitment to using online resources to the greatest extent possible.
What Is PR?
Public relations or PR is the art of putting a company’s best face forward and showing the world the great things the business is capable of doing. Public relations involves advertising, but it is not only about advertising. It also includes making the most of opportunities to show the good things about a company.
PR Firms do not just handle “bad press”. While a company may need help dealing with a poor review or handling a negative event, there are many other things that public relations agencies do for their clients.
The PRSA states that a PR form should analyze and interpret public opinion, particularly the attitudes and issues that may impact the plans or operations of an organization or news that affects the entire field in which a business is engaged. They should anticipate the possible repercussions of issues that could affect the organization or company’s operations or image.
Respectable firms will also counsel the company employees and management about policy decisions and how they may affect the corporation or business’s public image. They will also explain social and corporate responsibilities as they relate to business decisions and conduct research on programs, actions, communications and other activities that can affect the company’s performance. Most firms will offer advice on fund raising, government relations, marketing and other programs.
In order to meet these goals, PR agencies must be willing to use all the tools available to them, particularly online programs and resources.
How Do PR Firms Use Online Resources?
A good PR agency knows how to capitalize on online resources to help their clients achieve good public relations results effectively. PR firms may use online resources in order to distribute press releases. Many press release platforms operate completely online and can target distribution to hundreds of news channels. Using these press release distribution platforms helps get the company’s message out quickly to the widest audience possible, which also involves social media. There is almost no limit to the ability to use social media to reach customers with positive messages and engage them in interaction with the company. Social media is designed to encourage user engagement, so it is an ideal platform for public relations.
Many firms also conduct market research. The web has changed the way market research is handled. Instead of focus groups, many companies now “test the water” through online surveys. It is simple to set up a survey that appears when visitors come to a website or is sent through email to a contact list. Many companies offer benefits for those who fill out the survey form to encourage participation. Surveys are a good way to discover how people feel about the company’s products or activities. One of the ways they do this is through blogging. Blogging is another good way to provide information or a platform for customer interaction. Many PR firms offer help for companies who want to blog, as this is a great way to build brand recognition and confidence in the company.
A public relations agency that takes advantage of online resources will provide better service and outcomes for its clients, so always look for a firm that uses online resources to the fullest extent.