Our MD Russell once told a client that hiring a PR Agency is much like a gym contract. You have to participate actively in order to obtain results. You can’t just sit back, and expect the agency to carry on without your input.
If you choose to hire an agency, you need to either make time for them – even an hour or two once a month is a good start – or you need to delegate someone in your company to work with the agency. However, this person needs to be in a position to be able to approve articles, and know what is happening at a management level so as to be able to relay the correct information.
Often in the world of PR, timing is everything. If a major story hits the news, and you can give any kind of comment or update, you have to work quickly with your agency to be one of the first people to offer journalists the angle, as opposed to being the last to jump on the bandwagon.
You don’t need to be the biggest player in the business in order to give insight. Often the big corporates are so bogged down with red tape that they cannot give comment quickly enough, which affords smaller players the opportunity to give their expert opinion before the story becomes old news.
This week, when the news hit that #DayZero in Cape Town had been moved forward by a week, our PR team quickly brainstormed angles for comments from our clients who work in this space, one which is even involved in a desalination plant, but who unfortunately can’t comment officially as of yet.
One of our smaller clients responded quickly, however, and worked with his account manager to give comment on the situation, taking a very unique angle that many may not even have considered, namely: the challenge of fighting fires in Cape Town’s driest months when the taps ultimately run dry.
He gave insight into the situation, and followed it up with tips on how to fireproof your home. The article was written by our content team, approved, and sent to the press within a day. It has been picked up by two radio stations thus far, resulting in amazing exposure for the client. (Click here to listen to the interview on CapeTalk).
The above example shows how working closely and quickly with your agency, and dedicating time when needed, can result in fantastic exposure, increased leads, and new business – if managed correctly.
So, aim to be the fittest player in your market, and work out with your agency regularly to see results. Consider it the new Cross Fit of public relations!