What are the first five questions that come to your mind when you hear or read any news?
- What all happened?
- Who did it?
- When and Where did the incident take place?
- Why did it happen?
Surprisingly, these are the guiding principles of storytelling, marketing, and journalism. Any story that fails to answer these questions tends to be incomplete. Answering these 5 W’s of public relations is necessary to make your PR campaign successful.
Let’s get into understanding these 5 Ws of PR in detail. But before that, let’s recapitulate what actually public relations is.
What is PR?
It is the practice of managing the information spread between an organization or individual and the public. It is a strategic communication from a company to the public to cultivate or maintain a brand image.
Check out our complete guide on public relations and its types.
5 W’s Of Public Relations:
If, as a business or an organization, you are trying to create a successful PR campaign, they need to ask these important 5 W’s.
Before you start creating any PR campaign, the first thing you should ask is, What is the PR campaign about? Be crystal clear about the purpose of your PR campaign, and only then will you be able to strategize and plan it well.
List down all the goals you want to achieve through the PR campaign. For instance, if you are about to launch a product, determine what it will do to make the customers’ lives easier. Your intent will determine the series of actions that you should perform to achieve your set goals.
Remember, the answer to this question should be something that your audience is interested in.
The second most important question is, “who is the campaign really for? Who do you intend to send this announcement to? Answering the question will help you refine the content of your campaign. Also, you will be able to decide the tone of the campaign depending on “who” the campaign is targeting.
Once you are clear about the ‘what’ of your campaign, the next you should ask is, WHERE do you want to draw the eyeballs? Will you send it to the journalists or advertise it through your company’s social media?
With the world transforming quickly, businesses today have more platforms than ever before, which include the company website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, SoundCloud, and YouTube. So, when you answer the question, “Where,” it will clarify which one of these platforms you will use to cut through the noise and reach your audience.
As it is always said, Timing is everything! This stands true for any PR campaign as well. According to an informal poll conducted on 215 PR professionals discovered that Tuesday is the best day send releases. Further, a study by MarketWire found that Friday is the best day to pitch the press as the journalists are overburdened with the news.
Well, this may vary from business to business and time to time. All you need to do is research the market and industry and decide on major press releases and launches accordingly.
It simply explains why anybody should care about the campaign. Often this factor is overlooked when preparing for a PR campaign.
Finding the answer to this question will help you add value to your campaign. Because if there’s no way a business, product, or service is significant for the target audience, then there’s no need to have the campaign created.
Think like your audience and put yourself in their shoes to get an answer to the “WHY.” Include powerful words to emphasize why this campaign is significant for the audience. And if you still can’t find a significant reason to launch your campaign, there’s no point moving further.
The Final Say:
When you successfully answer the 5Ws of public relations, it results in clear communications with your audience in the most effective way. You can cater to the right audience in the right way and with the right message. You would not want your audience to be dazed and confused as they see your campaign. So, the next time you plan a PR campaign, start finding the answers to these 5W’s of PR before finalizing it.
If you are trying to make a long-lasting impression in the market, consider PR a crucial part of your marketing strategy. Any business, regardless of its size, can benefit from positive publicity and media coverage. PR is a proven way to take your brand message into the ‘news’ space rather than advertising.
In the current scenario, where the market is competitive for every product or service, PR is a powerful branding tool that helps your business to differentiate and stand out from the crowd. Plus, you can build an emotional connection with the audience and establish a brand persona.
And for you to achieve all these benefits, you must hire a reliable PR agency. Unfortunately, this is where most businesses fail. Since PR covers numerous functions, it becomes complex to understand what PR agencies do.
This article will address all such questions that will help you get to the core of PR agencies. By the end of this article, you will have the confidence to hire a PR agency that is right for your business.
Let’s get started.
What is Public Relations Agency?
In simple words, a public relations or PR agency specializes in managing the public image of their clients (for example, businesses & organizations) and engaging with their audience. These are the experts who promote a brand via editorial coverage. Unlike advertising, PR agencies are involved in “earned” or “free media” through stories appearing in newspapers, TV, and magazines. Such agencies help their clients acquire new audiences and achieve business goals.
Types Of Public Relations Agency:
- Press Communication
- General Strategic Communication
- Internal Communication
- Crisis Management
- Non-Profit Public Relations
- Community Management
- Public Affairs
What does a PR Agency do?
Often businesses get confused between advertising and PR. Well, it’s true that the duties of advertising and PR agencies can look alike, but their functions greatly differ. While a PR agency is aimed at boosting the brand reputation of a brand, a marketing agency is responsible for driving sales. Besides maintaining a positive brand reputation, they also help in crisis management – recovering a bad reputation and making it resistant to negativity.
A PR agency can offer the following services:
- Reputation Management
- Media Relations
- Crisis Management
- Press Releases
- Speech Writing
- Social Media
- Event Planning
- Market Research
- Internal Copywriting, and
- Media Training
How to Hire a PR Firm/Agency?
So, now you know why you need to hire a PR agency. However, choosing the right PR company is important. Here are some tips that will make hiring the right PR agency process a lot easier.
1) Decide On Your Goals:
The foremost thing is to know your own goals – you need to be clear enough about what you are trying to achieve by hiring a PR agency. Asking questions like, why do I need to hire a PR agency can get you the goals.
To begin with, you can set SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. When you learn about your goals, it is easier to decide on what type of PR agency would be ideal for your business. For instance, if you run a non-profit organization, you can go for hiring a non-profit PR agency.
2) Explore Your Options:
Typically, you can choose from three options when it comes to hiring a PR agency:
- An internal team
- A PR firm
- Combination of both
Each of these types has a different price tag and will demand different levels of involvement from your organization. Based on your preferences, such as budget and goals, you can choose to either hire an in-house team or outsource it to an external firm. However, the best option is to have a mix of in-house and external PR experts.
The in-house internal PR person will have a good knowledge of your overall business and its marketing strategy. As such, they can work with the external PR team and build a comprehensive PR strategy for your business. Also, having an internal PR person can handle all the communication with the external team without your intervention, allowing you to focus on other important business chores.
3) Set Your Budget:
Hiring a PR agency can burn a hole in your pocket. Hence, it is important that you set a budget and convey it to your prospective PR firms. Before you begin your hunt for a PR agency, consider how much you’re ready to spend on your PR efforts. Try to answer questions like, “To what extent can we contribute to PR monetarily? “Will this budget come out of our marketing budget?”
Further, when creating your PR budget,
- Align your goals with your budget
- Don’t forget your priorities ( SMART goals)
- Include hidden costs
4) Do Your Research:
When you’ve your goals and budget set, the next, you should start researching the right kind of PR agency for your business. Collect as much information about them, including their team, track record, specializations, social media presence, cost, reviews, testimonials, top clients, etc.
If you are wondering where to collect all this information from, here’s where you should at:
- Company’s Job Page – To get an idea about their current objectives and tactics. For instance, if they are building a social media team.
- Strategic Announcements – To learn about their success, initiatives, new strategies, and their reputation. The idea is to know how well they handle their own public relations.
- Shareholder Letter – To get an idea about their unique value proposition, financial strength, and accomplishments.
- Glassdoor – for reviews and feedback from their employees.
Remember, knowing all this will ensure you are hiring the right PR agency to work with.
5) Prepare Your Questionnaire:
Even if you have gathered information about their current and past work and reputation from different sources, it’s crucial to get in touch with them in person. When you meet them, ask them questions to learn about their experience, price, prior successes, reviews, and testimonials. Create a list of questions like:
- What are your specializations? Do you hold expertise in a specific industry?
- How will get our business media coverage?
- What are your metrics for measuring success?
- What are your plans to work with our marketing team?
- What’s your pricing structure?
- What are your strategies for the first few weeks & what should we expect?
- Can we contact your past clients?
- What’s your work process like? Who would we be working with?
Make sure to ask these questions to every PR agency on your list. Their answers will help you decide on the ideal PR firm for your business.
6) Set Expectations:
When you’ve finally decided which PR company to hire, ensure you’ve discussed your objectives and goals clearly. Also, set up a clear line of communication while defining your expectations. Convey your SMART goals to your PR firm, and determine you will you measure success.
7) Complete the Onboarding:
Lastly, go through the onboarding process with your PR agency. Get to know who is the go-to person and communicate your goals. Create your daily, weekly and monthly plan with them and know how they will proceed. Plus, ask them questions like, “How often will we connect? “How will we track the outcomes of our work as a team?”
The Bottom Line:
So, investing in public relations can be a great aid to your business reputation. And hiring a PR firm is a great way to boost your existing marketing efforts, increase traffic and sales, and build brand awareness. We hope these seven tips will guide you through the journey and help you achieve the desired results in the long run.