Ask the PRincipal: What Does a PR Agency Do?

What does a PR agency do anyway?

Photo via  Unsplash

Photo via Unsplash

Dear PRincipal,

People keep telling me to hire a PR agency or publicist, but I’m not convinced. What does a PR agency even do?

Yours Truly,

Skeptical Start-UpFounder

Ask the PRincipal.jpg

Dearest Founder,

This is a bit of a loaded question (with an equally loaded answer) so grab a snack and buckle in.

For a long time, Brad Pitt was considered the most attractive man alive. But the question remains: was he actually the most attractive man in the world, or was he just intended to be?

Now don’t get me wrong, ole’ Brad is a good looking fella. However, behind him, stood a team of invisible publicists and marketers engineering and moulding the public perception of his image. The same goes for celebrities who are considered to be “badass”, “squeaky clean” , or even “the voice of our generation”. When this form of PR is done well, it comes off as seamless and authentic, and as an audience, we can’t tell that it was engineered.

Brands are no different - your brand may very well be just a muffled voice among the crowd in your industry, and that’s why it’s important to take control of your public image. As the head of a company, you have the power to define what you are, whether it be through the information you disperse, the causes you support, or the way you do your work. Think of it this way - Amazon may not actually be the most convenient way to shop, Apple phones may not be the most technologically advanced, and Teslas may not be the coolest cars. However, what we do know is that they are brands with very talented PR professionals behind them. If you’re not constantly crafting your brand’s story and the way you relate to the public, then you’re not taking full advantage of being the best or most interesting brand that you can be.

When some people hear the term “PR”, they immediately think of Samantha’s profession in Sex and The City. However, public relations isn’t simply a frivolous industry for the rich and famous, or just a way to make it into The New York Times. PR agencies, like Press Pillay, are composed of many individuals with different skill-sets to put your brand’s best face forward. Our agency is comprised of three core services: Public Relations & Media Outreach, Social Media Strategy & Management, and Written & Visual Content Creation. It’s impossible to create a fully fleshed-out brand strategy without a strong team of people working collaboratively in all three areas.

The primary goal of public relations and media outreach is to generate buzz around your brand. These individuals take your brand content, and pitch it in an original way to media organizations to get you in the public eye. Depending on the type of product or service you’re offering, this media attention could come in the form of television spots, online blog posts, or even interactive events.

If your brand is going to appear in the public eye, chances are more people will be visiting your social media accounts. This is where the social media strategy and management team come in, as they help to manage your social platforms to remain consistent with your desired image. Our agency has been focusing on branding a lot more, as we’ve found that branding and PR go hand in hand. Branding covers everything aesthetic from website design to social media - think of it as a facelift for your public image.

Everyday brands like airlines and family restaurants aren’t usually naturally witty - they have a team of content creators producing the viral tweets and blog posts you’ve seen circulating online (we’re looking at you, Wendy’s). To fuel your social media posts, content creation specialists will produce customized written and visual work to turn your vision into a reality. These individuals will work alongside your team to define a distinct voice for your brand, and maintain that voice throughout all of your posts.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to reclaim the missed opportunities your brand could be benefiting from in a PR strategy.

Got a PR question for our PRincipal (and fearless founder) Nesh Pillay? Tweet us @PressPillay!

Read more: Is Hiring a PR Agency Worth it for My Start-Up?