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PR: The benefits of engaging an agency

There are many people out there in the world of business who are totally in the dark when it comes to understanding what it means to work in the field of public relations or PR.

Despite the fact that 70 percent to 80 percent of news content about companies, products, the government, and people, is generated by the daily activities of people like me and my colleagues, a large portion of the population is unaware of the multi-million dollar industry that’s behind the article they just read with their morning coffee.

So for the record, and in anticipation of the next time I get asked “What is PR?”, I wanted to clearly define what it is that we in the PR industry do.

Public relations allows a brand to connect with the consumer, this is done through pitching to a number of channels including TV, radio, print and online. The exposure of your product or service may help influence an increase in sales, or keep the brand top of mind for future purchases.

And this is not as simple as it sounds. Reason being is that PR as a marketing tool is no longer the “little known secret” it used to be. And, if you are a small business competing with other small businesses using PR as a marketing tool, there is a chance you could be left behind.

These days, every smart brand and the marketing people behind it understand the value of PR and how it can raise awareness of and influence their target audience to purchase in a highly competitive marketplace. This ultimately impacts sales and the organisation’s bottom line.

This means that now more than ever, journalists and bloggers are inundated with more information, more press releases, more phone calls and more product launch invitations from people like us. So to achieve publicity is a much more complex and creative process.

And to secure what we term as ‘cut through’, means that the Agent99 PR team, and others in our industry who represent clients and brands, are challenged daily to stand out in the crowd. So as a small business without anyone representing your product or service, it makes it even harder to get in front of your target audience.

There are a number of initiatives a PR agency can carry out including organising face-to-face time with a journalists, stunts, events, media famils and creative press kits. This way, when a journalist is writing a story and something relevant to your brand comes up, your product is top of mind.

Personally, I think by hiring a PR agency to look after the publicity for your product, means you have time to focus on what you know best – your business!

So next time you read a newspaper, or check out your favourite blog or news site, ask yourself where the writer got their information about that nifty new gadget… as it was probably from someone like me.

What do you think?

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Sharon Zeev Poole

Sharon Zeev Poole

Sharon Zeev Poole is the Founder and Director of highly regarded boutique PR and communications agency Agent99 PR. The agency specialises in launching or relaunching brands in the food, beverage and lifestyle spaces, as well as working with corporate clients, thought leaders and authors to raise their profile.

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