Marketing and PR agencies write and distribute press releases. They pitch media for stories. They can plan and execute special events. They can even help manage crisis communications in times of need. But none of this is news to you. And honestly, these tasks are like breathing at BizCom. We have gone through these steps with clients so many times and have proven our ability to execute these functions, that it’s obvious to companies and their leaders who retain our services.
1) Maximizing Coverage:
The hits just keep on coming. Or, do they? Landing that big story isn’t the finish line. For a good agency, it’s just the beginning. Your agency should be pushing that out to everyone who didn’t just happen to tune in, log on or read that issue when it ran. A good agency is ghostwriting a blog for your company about the news story, linking to the story on social media, sending that hit to even bigger media contacts who – guess what? — may want to do their own angle on that news. A good agency will repurpose publicity into electronic newsletters or e-blasts for you to share with your most important audiences. And surprise, surprise, one hit becomes many. Then the real show and tell begins. Look past the nice and organized client reports. It takes tons of agency time to compile all those publicity hits, links, printed copies, videos, targeted social media mentions and more. All that glam in the spotlight comes with a lot of unglamorous media tracking time that you don’t get to see. Trust us, it’s the heavy lifting that shows all the greatness a good agency possesses.
2) Social Media Warriors:
Good agencies spend a lot of time delivering exclusive news and posting and sharing publicity through popular and emerging online channels. (Psst…we’ve even been retained to be administrators of those clients’ social channels.) With the increasing popularity of 24/7 social media vehicles, it is important to stay on top of everything that clients accomplish to make sure key influencers are updated in real time. Truth be told, we like boasting about clients and sharing their headlines. And, likewise, a good agency is a watchdog of virtual conversation, protecting the brands and reputations of clients from online chatter capable or eroding honest businesses. If you don’t have the time or the budget to manage and monitor this space (via your own team or that wonderful agency you’ve got on the books), be prepared to be a victim to whatever viral opportunity arises. Social media has the power to disrupt, and it can take your good name, your hard-earned profits and your future success to task. Yep, it’s tiring work, and often unseen work at the agency.
3) The Other Industry Experts:
A good agency makes it a priority to become an expert on your brand and industry so it can represent the company almost as well as the CEO. This requires detailed research into key competitors, industry trends that may influence your company’s goals, key media to build relationships with, and target market research for where your company has a known presence or wants to expand its presence. It takes a lot of background research and work from your marketing firm to know everything you need it to know in order to provide you with effective representation and service.
4) Serving as the Voice of the Company:
Ghostwriting takes more than ghosts to produce good work. We don’t claim to be William Shakespeare, but those bylined articles for clients aren’t plucked from thin air. Yes, your company has many experts who can be champions for the organization. But experts are busy people. They often don’t have time to be scribes for magazine features, guest columns, e-mail interviews, op-eds and blogs. That’s where a good agency takes a topic and a little bit of wisdom from the client’s pros, and magically crafts their message for them. Okay, so it isn’t magic. But it can work like magic for your company when your PR agency positions you as a captain of industry without your in-depth time and commitment.
5) “How Can I Help You?”:
Oh, don’t think your agency just gabs with reporters and goes to mixers. A good agency is there to help those who want to learn more about the company. A good agency helps people with specific questions get in touch with the correct people. What happens when someone representing your brand delivers a bad experience for a customer? The glory might go to your agency to receive that angry call. For every wonderful interview, TV show or photo shoot that the agency masterminds, there are the countless hours also addressing these fun inquiries: ‘I saw you listed as a media contact, and I need….(fill in arbitrary request here).’ You don’t see it. You don’t know to expect it. But your agency sometimes puts on a customer service nametag for you. That’s service with a smile! We’re not sure how to quantify “diverting headaches” on client contracts, but know that it’s happening at a quality agency. That relationship is much more valuable than you can actually see.