20 Reasons to Hire a PR Agency

This month, Dittoe PR celebrates 20 years in business! All month long, we’re celebrating our anniversary by sharing content dedicated to the big 2-0. To kick things off, we’re breaking down the top 20 reasons to hire a public relations agency:

1. Build brand awareness
One of the biggest and most obvious benefits of PR is that it helps gain exposure for your brand. And let’s be clear: building a brand is a marathon not a sprint, which means you need people who are working to secure consistent, ongoing media coverage for your company, your leadership team, and your services or products day in and day out for a long period of time. 

2. Generate new business opportunities
When done correctly, public relations can help improve business outcomes by generating new leads. When your brand or product is strategically placed in targeted or niche media outlets, you are becoming more visible to your target audiences.

3. Gain credibility
Whether you’re looking to gain new customers, find new investors, or maybe even get noticed by larger companies for a potential buyout, credibility is a must. Similar to how a great feature in a top publication can help build brand awareness, it can also build your credibility. A positive endorsement from a third party generates much more credibility than advertising.

4. Attract top talent
A great PR campaign has the ability to attract top talent to your company. Stories on company growth and innovation, as well as your culture and philanthropic initiatives help to position your company as a desirable place to work. Touting award recognitions for your business and announcing new hires and promotions are also great ways to solidify your organization as a top workplace in your area or industry.

5. Funding
PR can be critical for startups looking to secure funding. Not only does positive media coverage build brand awareness and credibility, but it will put you in a better negotiating position with potential investors.

6. Damage control
A crisis can hit in any business at any time and impact a company’s credibility. Agencies have the training, tools and experience to help you navigate through the tough times and mitigate damages of a PR crisis. They can also take a proactive approach and develop communications plans before a crisis occurs, ensuring there are detailed plans of action ready, just in case.

7. Media specialists
PR agencies’ bread and butter is typically media relations. They have built up an extensive list of media contacts, relationships and connections with journalists and editors working in local, trade and national media outlets. A journalist is much more likely to open, read and accept an email pitch when it comes from a recognizable source. PR firms also spend countless hours researching outlets and identifying which reporters actively cover the industry.

8. Content specialists
PR firms also know a thing or two about writing engaging content that goes far beyond press releases. Bylined articles and op-eds, case studies, blogs, award submissions, speaking nominations…the list goes on and on! An agency should have a team of veteran writers who can create and amplify content that will convert interest into sales, and prospects into long-term loyal customers.

9. The brainpower of an agency
When working with a PR firm, you typically will have a dedicated account team that you work with on a daily basis. The individuals you work with have most likely developed and executed similar strategic PR plans many times before in their careers.

10. Resources
Leveraging PR software tools is key to tracking and measuring success, but they aren’t cheap. Good PR firms will invest in tools like TrendKite, Critical Mention and Cision to identify press contacts, influencers and opportunities, track media coverage and web traffic, and ultimately measure the overall impact of earned media.

11. An outside viewpoint is valuable
Not all news is newsworthy. PR agencies know what types of stories the media will find interesting and cover and which ones they will say “hard pass” to. On the flip side, a company may have industry insights or a customer case study that they think no one will care about, but a good PR firm can sniff out a good media opportunity a mile away. An agency will find ways to take something that might not seem “sexy” and turn it into an opportunity to reach, engage, and persuade your target audiences.

12. They work hard for the money
That said, an agency won’t wait for a company to bring them a newsworthy announcement to take the media. A good PR firm will be proactively brainstorming various story angles and ways to ensure your company and leadership team are constantly being featured in the news and that you’re ultimately reaching your target audiences.

13. Allows you to focus on your business at hand
Media relations is a full-time job (believe us, or else we’d be jobless). That’s why hiring a PR agency can help alleviate the pressure of running a business while building brand awareness. This is especially true for startups. While you’re working on the mechanics of the company, an agency will focus on media outreach, drafting content, submitting awards and more on your behalf.

14. Increases synergy among departments
PR doesn’t work in a vacuum. In order to best leverage the money you’re spending on PR, it needs to be integrated into your greater marketing strategy. Increasingly, there is more integration across PR, social media and digital advertising. When all departments are working together toward a common goal, well, that’s when the magic happens.  

15. PR becomes a priority
When PR is kept in-house, it’s often added to the already extremely full plate of the marketing team. Because PR isn’t their top priority (and shouldn’t be), it can often fall to the wayside. Working with an agency forces PR to become a priority.

16. It’s cheaper than advertising
Advertising in a publication or on TV can be extremely expensive, and PR has the power to be much more effective than traditional brand-building techniques like paid advertising because people don’t relate to advertisements – they consume them. Storytelling is the way people attach meaning to products and services, and it’s the reason they want to belong to a brand. Yes, you’re still paying an agency for their services, but it’s at a fraction of the overall advertising cost.

17. Enhance your social media presence
Social media’s influence is too large to ignore and it’s reshaping the PR industry. Many PR agencies have expanded their service offerings in the past few years to include some level of social media support. PR content (press releases, company announcements, etc.) can live longer, spread faster and reach further with the help of social media.

18. Position yourself as a thought leader
Good thought leadership campaigns understand that consistency is key. One does not become known as an expert in their field without sharing their voice on their subject matter. PR agencies will take their clients’ best resource- talent -and give them the platforms to share their expertise in expert interviews, byline articles, award wins, speaking opportunities and more.

19. Leveraging influence from outside sources
Even though media relations may be an agency’s bread and butter, it doesn’t stop there. Working with influencers on social media and even the occasional TV or radio personality can help to spread awareness in a more meaningful way. Similar to celebrity endorsements, agencies will work with nano, micro and macro-influencers to identify potential partnerships in order to leverage additional content and coverage opportunities for your brand.

20. Measuring success 
Measuring the success of PR efforts can be challenging, especially when you try to do it on your own. Agencies (at least the great ones) invest in a variety of PR measurement tools to show clients ROI and track KPIs such as total media mentions, share of voice among competitors, ad value, engagement, sentiment and social media amplification.

Ready to learn more about how an agency can you help you achieve your company goals? If so, shoot me an email at lauryn@dittoepr.com!