Hats Off: The Benefits of Hiring an External PR Firm
Let’s talk about bandwidth. I have no expertise in internet service, so let’s clear that idea out of your head now. What I want to discuss is the physical and mental bandwidth we are capable of handling and recognizing when you have taken on a bit more than you can do effectively.
Two weeks ago, I was driving on New Jersey’s good old Garden State Parkway heading into work, and I had a revelation. It was the week of my wedding and, while thrilling, I noticed that between wrapping up final event details, hosting out-of-town guests, and doing my actual job, I one hundred percent overestimated my bandwidth. It’s not so much I couldn’t handle everything solo as much as it was a matter of how well I was going to execute it all. Further, the stress of it all started to be mentally taxing. I was being stubborn trying to get it all accomplished on my own, and I was overwhelmed.
It occurred to me that I was in the same position as so many of our clients. Suddenly, the answer was really clear: get a team that can support you, that can be your voice when you are not present, and that you can trust. Thankfully for me, my friends, family and team here at M studio are perfect at doing just that. With their help, I was able enjoy the 48 hours before I got hitched.
As PR professionals, we routinely receive feedback from CEOs, CMOs, and company owners who feel it can be scary to let go of the reins and to trust someone that is not a part of the company to be the voice of it. Some of our clients have quite literally built their company, brand, or product from scratch so, yes, of course there is hesitation in letting go of certain responsibilities – especially those that involve public image.
However, we have to ask our clients what they are benefiting from by holding onto duties that are beyond the bandwidth of their team. Is stretching your company’s internal bandwidth compromising quality of work? Is it helping you grow? Instead of amplifying your brand voice, is your value proposition being muffled because your staff doesn’t actually do marketing and public relations? It’s important to recognize when you cannot grow any more hands internally. And looking to an external team can be one of the best solutions for this all-to-common dilemma.
Benefits of Hiring an External PR Company
Public Relations – It’s What We Do
Just like you, we are experts in our field, and it’s ALL we do. We basically eat, drink, dream, and live public relations everyday. Hiring a top PR firm with a background in your industry saves you time and the expense of training an internal PR and marketing generalist. While the generalist may understand your product or service offerings, an educated agency will understand your industry trends, pain points, and what it will take to spotlight you over a competitor.
New Eyes to Reach Success – Objective Views
Working with a top PR firm, or any agency team for that matter, should evolve into a natural extension of your brand but with the benefit of an independent perspective. This is valuable because an agency’s neutral view provides your company with a valuable outward-facing perspective that could otherwise go unnoticed.
We’ve Got Friends in All the Right Places – Contacts
Contacts are a crucial factor of successful public relations. If garnering consistent, impactful press from influential outlets was easy, I wouldn’t have a job. No, we are not executing brain surgery, but there is a value that an agency brings when it comes to media relations. Agencies have cultivated key media contacts from an array of broadcast, print, and online publications specific to your industry and beyond. Not only that, they are trained on best practices when it comes to reaching out to press and facilitating media requests, including staying on top of deadlines and knowing how to augment stories with branded assets.
Speaking In Tongues – Media Relations
Speaking of media relations, this is where a PR team can be most valuable. Publicists are capable of speaking in the voice of the client to convey messaging in a way that the owner, founder, or CEO is most comfortable with. We also offer the added value of knowing what media is looking for and how best to distribute company information. Essentially, we draw out and enhance the newsworthy aspects of a company or business and create win-win situations for clients and press. It takes strategy development, considerable time, and a little bit of PR magic (but that last item is for another time).
Dollar Dollar Bills Ya’ll – Increase In ROI
Let’s be honest. For the most part, marketing can be expensive. As the old adage states, it takes money to make money, and a PR investment is no different. But, clients who have internally exceeded the bandwidth of their team often turn to outside agencies because, in the long run, it is more cost-effective for their business. Think about it. For the cost of one mid-to executive-level hire, companies can outsource PR programs to a team of professionally trained marketers and publicists and bypass the costs associated with salaries, benefits, paid-vacation time and more. Further, a good outsourced PR team wants to produce measurable results for their clients so they can build long-term relationships and reduce client turn-over rates. Again, a win-win for everyone.
Growth & Reach – It Isn’t Where You Came From; It’s Where You Are Going
When companies hire an external agency to handle their marketing and PR, the company itself is able to step away from the day to day and focus on the big picture, the next steps. While the boss and management team handle those big decisions, a strong agency is working in tandem to ensure messaging is clear and concise and that there is consistent buzz about company milestones to help garner more attention and support company growth.
As you can see, knowing your bandwidth is important. For me, it took a wedding countdown to realize the importance of “letting go” with the support of a trusted team.