Managing public relations may appear to be a task that does not require constant effort however, in order to be effective PR strategies need to be implemented by someone with experience and knowledge of the industry.
A public relations consultancy will understand the best strategies for marketing your business and the most efficient way to implement these strategies. They may already have existing contacts that can assist with any communication that they carry out on behalf of the company.
What is external communications?
The term ’external communication’, which is what external PR essentially involves, is the transmission of information from inside of your organisation to an external audience or, alternatively, a media outlet. Examples of external communications are:
- Newsletters from a company with which you contract business
- An author or speaker’s One Sheet,
- A printed brochure which outlines the types of services that a company can perform
These assist with conveying an organisation’s messaging to outside entities that need be kept in the loop regarding its activities. Such entities may include customers, prospects, referral sources vendors or, alternatively, members of the media.
The goal of your external communications plan should be to, for example:
- Develop or increase cognisance of your products or services,
- Increase brand recognition,
- Attract investors or sponsors, etc.
What to remember when choosing an external PR agency
When choosing a public relations consultancy it is important to remember that the consultant in charge of the account will need to have some degree of control over the content that is published about the company. Clear boundaries need to be set regarding which aspects of content the consultant can have free reign with and which need to have the approval of a manager within the company.
These PR services include:
- Strategy, development as well as implementation
- Positioning as well as messaging
- Media strategy, engagement as well as monitoring
- Media relationship-building including interviews
- Writing as well as syndication of media stories
- Press-cutting services
- Content generation (press releases, advertorials, thought leadership pieces, feature articles)
- Newsletters (print and online)
- Web PR
- Integrated campaigns through multiple platforms in order to drive sales
- Provision of other content ( PowerPoint; brochures)
- Crisis communications
What does an external PR agency do?
The external PR agency provides a number of services. Some of these are the following:
- Working in tandem with the internal PR team in order to develop a strategic PR strategy as well as providing counsel on campaigns or projects.
- Proactively responding to editorial inquiries as well as requests as appropriate. Managing the process accordingly. Fielding interview requests, coordinating and facilitating interviews, and developing briefing materials to prepare key spokespeople.
- Managing the angle of the story as well as working with the journalist to provide additional information. It is also essential to monitor for the article as well as develop and deliver a summary to the clients in order to merchandise the results.
- Working with the internal PR team to flesh out messaging or, alternatively, to develop a messaging architecture.
- Championing programme-planning activities with strategic input from the internal PR team. The external PR agency is accountable for identifying key audiences, major messages, objectives, strategies as well as tactics for carrying out these programmes.
- Providing weekly as well as monthly status reports to the internal PR manager so that he or she has a sense of what work is being completed as well as what results are in progress.
PR is an essential component that you need to engage in so that you can effectively market your business.
Want to know more regarding how you can use PR to benefit your business? Take a look at what our public relations course entails.