If you own an SME or start-up in Singapore, you may have contemplated hiring a PR agency before.
You’ve heard of the benefits it brings – brand credibility, positive attention, potential investors and sometimes, even increased sales!
But what exactly is PR? How does it bring about these benefits?
How do you pick a PR agency, and how do you make them interested in your story?
Stick with ReferReach to get the 101 on PR and learn how to pick PR agencies that suit your business in Singapore!
What is PR?
There are two components to understanding public relations (PR). It is the way your company
- strategically communicates with the public in order to
- maintain or cultivate its public image and/or respond to the public conversation.
At its foundation, PR is about how your brand connects with its audience.
It is not paid advertising, where your goal is to sell something. Instead, PR is a type of earned media created with specialised techniques to induce mutually beneficial relationships between your company and the public.
But if advertising exists, why opt for public relations?
Let’s think about it this way:
With all the innovations and services now being offered globally, and each company using marketing and advertising tactics to generate audience-centric content, what sets your company apart from the rest?
How do you make the public choose your services over your competitors?
People can now afford to be more choosy about what they read, and they are becoming more adept at weeding out irrelevant material.
So, if they discard your content marketing from the start, you won’t make any sales.
That’s why you need to persuade them.
With PR, you’re trying to persuade an audience, both inside and outside your regular sphere of influence, to support your concept, buy your product, back your viewpoint, or acknowledge your achievements!
PR can be utilised to protect, enhance, or establish your company’s reputation through the media, social media, or self-produced communications. This allows you to build a rapport with the public, earning that sweet brand and customer loyalty that you want.
With advertising, you’re trying to get them to buy your products or services. You’re the one saying: “Hey, my product is good, buy it!”
But PR is someone else credible saying that your business is good, thus persuading clients to trust your brand and keep returning to you in the long run.
PR is so effective because it has to be earned – you can’t pay PR agencies to simply spin press releases and get success in return.
Keep on reading to find out how to engage with public relations professionals successfully!
Types of Public Relations
- Media Relations: Establishes positive relationships with media organisations and serving as a content source for them.
- Investor Relations: Organises investor gatherings, releasing financial reports and regulatory filings, answering questions and complaints from investors, analysts, and the media.
- Government Relations: Represents your company to the government on issues such as corporate social responsibility, fair competition, consumer protection, and employee protection, among others.
- Community Relations: Manages the brand’s social element and building a positive reputation in social niches such as environmental preservation, education, and so on.
- Customer Relations: Manages relationships with your target market and potential customers. A PR agency focused on customer experience will conduct market research to learn more about customers’ interests, attitudes, and priorities.
How PR Helps Your Company
There is a myriad of ways that PR helps boost your business in the public sphere.
All businesses seek this asset, but it is not something that can be advertised.
As much as we hate to admit it, the most reliable sources of information about your company are third-party sources such as customer reviews and media coverage, not the content you give to the public.
Singing yourself accolades does not have the same level of credibility as having it validated by someone else.
Furthermore, third-parties and intermediary platforms have their own loyal followings who believe in what they say. But, more importantly, they are objective and independent parties, and their endorsement of your product or service will say volumes about your company’s credibility.
Detecting Media Patterns
Good public relations agencies are excellent at identifying topics of interest according to the current trends. Even better: PR experts know how to fill in content shortages.
That means they are adept at turning each headline into an opportunity that serves your brand image, with the high potential for your story to go viral.
Increases Public Visibility
It’s easy to get lost in the ‘noise’ with nearly three million blog entries published every day.
A PR plan helps you cut through the clutter, allowing you to reach a more diverse yet targeted audience.
This is done by determining the best channel for you to reach your target audience. Next, PR experts will interact with these media outlets and other third parties to persuade them of the value of your content to them and their audience.
Creating a brand message
Public relations is designed to communicate a brand’s ideals, identity, and value propositions to its target audience.
You can weave this message consistently and accurately throughout dispersed content with the help of a PR agency.
When done correctly, it can generate a positive link between your potential customers and your brand, giving your subsequent content, product, or service more weight.
Getting the Media Coverage Your Company Wants
Do you want to generate publicity for a new product launch?
Perhaps you want the public to know of your accomplishments or the story of your brand.
But getting the media to pay attention to your company is not as easy as merely contacting a PR agency and letting them handle the rest.
Here are several effective ways to get the media to notice your business and garner positive attention:
Start With Your Story
What’s the key to getting press attention?
Doing something that will attract the attention of the media! Media ultimately aims to entertain the public, so you need to give them something that deserves that attention.
The greatest method for your startup to get noticed in the press is to have a compelling company story that will help you stand out.
A great way to do this is by developing your personal story alongside your start-up journey.
This helps humanise your company, offering a level of emotional interest critical in getting people to empathise and trust your brand.
Be evocative! Demonstrate to the world why your company is necessary. For example, mention the problem you’re fixing or the work you’re doing to make the world a better place.
You’ll be off to a terrific start if you build a solid and interesting story. This narrative will pave the way for favourable media coverage.
A PR agency has the experience and industry knowledge to help you craft and spin your story into an angle that resonates with your target audience.
Build Rapport With Journalists BEFORE You Need Them
When you pitch a journalist, you’re effectively asking for a favour: coverage of your company.
If you don’t connect with these individuals, they may be less inclined to grant you this favour. Thus, it’s crucial to engage with them before you start pitching them.
Your best likelihood of getting coverage will be determined by how well you get along with the writers in question.
The more familiar you are with these people, the more likely they’ll be to read your pitch.
Here are some tips to building friendly relationships with journalists:
- Connect with them on social media: Start a friendly conversation about topics already available on their Instagram or Twitter. Comment on their posts! Ask about the TV show they’ve been into lately.
- Connect locally: It’s critical to connect in person with a local journalist. Attend events, conferences, or trade exhibitions in your area to gain some face time.
- Make their jobs easy for them: Making journalists’ lives easier is a terrific approach for engagement. Help them with a project they’re working on that has nothing to do with your company by directing them to a firm or product you know about. Show that your relationship will be mutually beneficial.
However, with PR agencies, you won’t need to do this legwork!
They already have years of established trust with networks of journalists. That means your company can get its story out without having to plan out a course of strategy all by yourself.
Choosing PR Agencies in Singapore
With all the praise we’ve been singing about PR agencies in Singapore, you still need to exercise caution and choose your agencies wisely. Not every agency can spin your pitch into a good story that gets that attention you want.
It would be best if you considered these characteristics when picking your PR agency:
Does the agency have a track record of success in your industry?
Do they have any experience dealing with PR issues similar to yours?
This is critical since an experienced agency in your industry will be able to swiftly grasp your concepts and provide well-informed advice and counsel.
Don’t be afraid to request case studies or examples of previous accomplishments in similar sectors. A reputable public relations firm should be open and provide you with the necessary references.
PR agencies aim to assist your company in telling its narrative, and doing so effectively necessitates a close working partnership.
Your aims and objectives may differ from those of a previous customer, and a professional public relations agency should be aware of this and sensitive to your company’s unique demands.
What sort of PR does the agency you’re looking at specialises in?
If you’re looking to build customer rapport, you probably don’t need the skills of an agency focused on investments, for example.
Top PR Agencies in Singapore
Don’t wait to boost your business growth! Seize your chance today with this list of top PR agencies in Singapore.
ReferReach is a platform that allows you to connect with trustworthy and vetted service providers in Singapore. To get connected with these top-notch businesses, you can create an ‘Ask’ with the details of what you’re looking for. Then, sit back and wait to get connected!