The Future is Now: Digital PR and 7 Things to Look for in B2B/B2C Agency
People have been talking about the public relations industry going digital for years. Guess what: it’s already happened.
Research shows digital media is a crucial trend impacting the PR industry, particularly in the last five years.
So, if you’re in the market for a PR agency, needless to say, you need to partner with one that is digital-first. This means the partner you’ll be working with must be accustomed to the challenges brought by digital’s pervasiveness in both the B2B marketplace and in consumers’ mindsets. Digital aside, what else should you take into consideration when looking for a B2B marketing and PR agency?
Digital and More: What to Look for in a PR Agency
Traditional PR Skillset
Yes, looking toward the future is promising. But at the end of the day, the core concepts of public relations remain the same: create and send a positive, relatable message to the world. This requires knowledge and experience in traditional and core PR initiatives, such as corporate communications, crisis communications, events and branded activations, and media relations. Your firm must also know how to develop press releases and editorial calendars – two essential tools in content creation, publication, and amplification.
Creative and PR Strategy Development
A recent USC study also found that creative thinking and strategic insights are the top two reasons in-house marketing and PR professionals partner with agencies. Unsurprisingly, agencies now consider strategic planning as their top skill (89%) for growth.
Your strategy is your roadmap to branding, marketing, and sales success. Yet many businesses get stuck in this phase. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh set of eyes. Evaluating your current (or lack of) existing strategies by an external party is crucial to determine better objective marketing goals and the metrics required to consider these goals a success.
A Portfolio with Relevant Coverage
At the very least, work with an agency with experience in B2B and B2C industries. The approach to these two market types is quite different, and the best approach for one might not work for the other. When asking for a portfolio, share not only your industry but also your current predicament. That’s because some clients from different industries face similar dilemmas.
Full Suite of Creative Services
Always ask your prospective agency if they offer the full suite of creative services: branding, copywriting, graphic design, and photo/video production.
These three areas are vital to delivering compelling visual storytelling for your brand. This is also a more convenient way of doing business since you do not need to go elsewhere to have your copy written or your video produced. One production team also ensures your branding guidelines are preserved, and your creative materials align with your overall PR strategy.
Everyone can brag about being the best, but can they prove it?
The struggle faced by many creative industries today is the difficulty to measure results. It’s never easy. In fact, even marketing professionals look to PR agencies to help determine their campaigns' reach and overall success. After all, it’s tough to justify budget requests to upper management without data to back them up. Unsurprisingly, a recent USC study found that “measurement and evaluation” was another top reason (60%) marketing professionals work with PR firms. Ask your prospective partner for data, or check their case studies.
Social Media Experience
Social media is a double-edged sword. Mishandle it, you’ll end up wounding yourself. Handle it with grace and technique, and you’ve got the power to influence consumer opinion. These numbers show the latent power of social networks in a snapshot, according to their official statistics:
· 2.25 billion monthly active Instagram users
· 2.96 billion monthly active Facebook users
· One billion monthly active TikTok users
So, working with a PR firm with experience in using and properly handling social media is imperative.
Digital Marketing Knowledge
Digital marketing encompasses many vital services, but the two crucial ones are content marketing and website development. Content marketing is your online PR or the execution of aligned messages delivered on various platforms. On the other hand, your website is your primary digital asset for owned media. It’s where all your digital campaigns will probably land (if not on your social pages).
Your PR Agency is Digital, and More
For those just starting to get to know us, we are M Studio, a leading B2B digital marketing agency specializing in branding and communications. We are headquartered in the New York metro area and serve clients nationally.
Since launching in 2004, we’ve worked with clients from various industries in helping them deliver their key messages to their target audience through the power of PR. We’re a full-service agency, assisting businesses from branding and conceptualization all the way to public relations campaigns and digital marketing, Visit our case studies and portfolio page to learn more!