Starting a relationship with Public Relations
It may be cliché, but PR is one of those jobs where no two days are alike. At Petersens, we’ve seen everything from structural support for pyramids to school children with IQs higher than Einstein. Perhaps it’s no surprise that PR can be distinguished and categorised by the industry it works within; PRWeek recognises thirteen of them in their awards. But why so many categories? Do industry requirements vary that much? And what should you be considering when looking for a PR team for your own business?
Perhaps the most obvious factor in any business decision is the consumer. Consumers for a single business vary wildly; from spending habits to how they consume content. Take those factors and multiply them by the services and products they’re looking for and a PR team wouldn’t just have a big job on their hands – they’d have a boring one. PR works best when it can be tailored to a few select audiences rather than “the general public”. It makes the offering clearer, the relationship stronger and the brand more personable.
It’s no surprise that the goals and objectives of a Corporate Law Firm are going to vary from a Health & Beauty provider. However, even brands within the same industry could have entirely different messaging, which as a key part of their identity is something they’ll want to maintain and develop as they grow. This is one of the reasons brands opt for a retainer with their PR firm; so they can have a consistent voice they know and trust handling everything from significant launch campaigns to everyday social media posts.
The role of PR
PR isn’t just categorised by the industries it works within. Community relations, internal relations, corporate social responsibility, crisis management – all under the PR function, but with very different processes. Now, most PR practitioners will have a basic understanding of how to perform multiple functions and will have quite an adaptable skillset. However, should the PR campaign have specific requirements, it may be advisable to forgo the variety in exchange for precision.
What’s best for business?
Whilst the PR industry clearly has a wide scope for industries and activities, that doesn’t mean you need to hire a niche specialist to do the best job. In fact, only being able to work to a specific audience, industry or function would be impractical for both the practitioner and the employer. Furthermore, if your practitioner is limited to businesses in your industry, it’s likely they’ll have worked with your competition – could there be a conflict of interest?
What’s best for your business depends on your criteria; duration of work, budget, the reach your hoping to achieve. Prioritise what matters to you and get talking to your options. Your perfect PR match will stand out in no time.