Image by: paperpariah
By Tony Melino
Congratulations! If you’re reading this; you are at a place in your business that you are considering whether or not to hire an outside party for all of your public relations needs.
There are tons of advantages with hiring a third party but there’s also numerous disadvantages. Just like there are advantages to start a PR branch of your business; which also has it’s slew of disadvantages.
Let’s keep our focus on having an outside firm control all of your PR needs. Let’s discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and whether or not it’s a good idea for your company.
What Does A PR Firm Do Exactly?
If you are considering whether or not to hire a PR firm; it’s important to know what they do exactly. The reason you’re outsourcing this part of your company to them is so you can focus on more important tasks at hand.
The most basic answer when it comes to what a PR firm does is that they manage and market your company’s image. It’s very important; especially when it comes to consumers purchasing products. They write press releases, will defend your reputation, conduct market research, and plan special events with community involvement.
The list is endless about what exactly a PR firm does and I’m just skimming the surface. You can see why companies choose to outsource this to outside firms.
The first advantage when you are in the position to hire a PR firm is that it will free up your time to focus on the more important aspects of your business. You won’t need a PR firm if your productivity is sinking because you are too worried about marketing your image.
The second advantage to hiring an outside PR firm is that their job is to specifically and continuously shape your reputation. They don’t have to worry about anything else inside of your company. That isn’t their concern. Their concern is promoting your company and gaining the respect of the world.
The final advantage is to maximize your next launch. When you are gearing up and getting ready to either a. launch your business or b. launch a new product/service; the job of your PR firm is to get the word out there.
They will control everything social media, social events, press releases, and will give you a leg up above your competitors that don’t use a PR firm.
The disadvantages when it comes to hiring a PR firm is just as long. The first couple things that come off the top of my head is that it’s one more thing to think about. You’ll have to continuously be looking over their shoulder to make sure they are marketing you up to your standards.
Another disadvantage is that PR firms represent a lot of different companies. It’s possible that one of your competitors belong to that same agency but pay them a little more. Even though it’s against regulations; they could not market you as hard as your competitor since they are paying more.
The final disadvantage to hiring a PR firm is that it is basically an investment. You can’t make this happen overnight. You can’t expect to hire a PR firm within the first couple weeks of interviewing other firms. It’s just not going to happen.
It’s going to take a lot of precious time out of your work day to figure out which company is going to be best for you and why. By the time you invest in a firm; you’ll have to keep tabs on them for at least the first year to make sure they are marketing you to their potential.
The Question Remains: Should You Hire One?
Look over the advantages, the disadvantages, and do your research on what firms are best for your company in your industry. From then; check out how they promoted other companies and if they succeeded to your standards.
If you are doing PR on your own and can handle it; then continue doing it yourself. If your business is growing and you just can’t handle working on the PR side of the business anymore; it’s time to hire a firm.