Published on January 23, 2018, at 10:48 a.m.
by Lexi McKenzie.
The surplus of young public relations professionals being churned out every graduation season makes our jobs that much more difficult. Not only is there increased competition, but as a result, our worth is decreasing in the eyes of our clients.
The saying “a dime a dozen” is being wrongfully applied to PR professionals, and we need to remind the business world the value of our services.
Companies are trying to avoid hiring PR professionals by using social media marketing and digital marketing tools, such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite. While these tools are useful, they need to be used in supplement with a PR practitioner’s skills.
We build relationships
Technology is extremely useful and is becoming increasingly capable as time passes, but there is one thing that technology can’t do for you: build and maintain relationships. Businesses need PR practitioners’ connections to successfully pitch their companies’ news and achievements to the media.
Even more important than our expertise and relationships is the credibility associated with our profession. We are held to the standard that everything we report on is accurate and is obtained by ethical means. See the PRSA Code of Ethics for further explanation. Sure, anyone could write a news story, but if the source isn’t credible, the public won’t accept the message and it’s back to square one.
We are analytical
Before any sort of message-crafting or brand-building begins, PR professionals run a complete audit on a business. We run a SWOT analysis to determine what the company is doing well and what it needs to improve on before we craft the strategy to address a communication need. Name an online service capable of doing that.
PR practitioners have their eyes on the market in which their client operates and are ready to adjust messaging and tactics based on changes in said market.
It is noticeable when we are affecting a business’s market share. We can look at press mentions, social media reach, audience reach, conversions and levels of brand awareness to see the measurable success for an organization.
We are worth it
Yes, PR services can get expensive, but the ROI is more than worth it. You could try to pay for a digital marketing service or Google Analytics, but without a PR professional to read that data and apply it to the business’s strategy, those services won’t reach their potential.
Next time you’re asked what a PR practitioner or agency can do for a business, you can confidently say we bring crucial connections, essential analytics and measurable success to an organization.