Every new business or product is launched with the hope it will eventually become a big brand. However, getting the amount of reach and recall that goes into building a recognizable brand is no easy feat. Barring a few exceptions, most brands are built over several years of persistent marketing and strategic public relations (PR). However, many businesses are so busy building and perfecting their offerings that they forget to dedicate time to think about marketing and PR.
How PR Can Help Build a Strong Brand
Some businesses associate PR with crisis management, and they think it’s only to be called in when a company’s reputation is at stake. Crisis management, however, is just one of the many aspects of public relations. PR, when done well, can lay the foundation for a strong brand presence and can help grow the business.
PR firms and professionals today use an ever-evolving mix of tools and strategies. These include standard approaches such as press releases, conferences, and trade shows, as well as new-age tactics such as social media, influencer outreach, and disruptive technology. These firms also tend to have authentic relationships with the media, influencers, and other partners that might be valuable for businesses.
All these channels, though, are really just facilitators for PR. The true power of PR lies in its ability to build an impactful story around your brand.
“At its core, the art and essence of PR come down to one thing: storytelling,” writes Craig Cincotta, senior director of marketing communications at SAP, in an article on Entrepreneur. “Every brand, technology, product, and person has a story to tell. Whether you are a business of five people or a Fortune 50 company, you need to know how to tell your story the right way, at the right time, to the right people.”
All these channel capabilities and the ability to create authentic stories allow PR firms to help businesses launch, build, and maintain their brands. Also, public relations is often an immersive and time-consuming task that requires consistent efforts. Therefore, it makes sense for many companies to bring in people with PR experience to help with brand building instead of just winging it.
How to Choose a PR Agency for Your Business
If you have employees with great communication and people skills and who are knowledgeable about how PR works, you may choose to do PR in-house. However, if you don’t have the resources or time to spare and want to work with external PR firms or consultants, it pays to do your research and carefully consider who you want to work with After all, you’ll be handing over your brand and image for them to mold.
Here are some pointers as you begin your search:
Look for passion. The firm should be excited about what your business does and should be invested in your growth. Look at their past successes and clients. If they’ve helped other businesses like yours scale and improve reach, that’s a point in their favor. Some firms are specialized and cater to specific business categories. Look for those with experience in your field. Proven expertise and knowledge of the latest innovations or trends in PR are important as well. When you zero in on an agency, ask around. Consider testimonials that speak toward results as well as negative reviews.
ChicExecs, a full-service branding agency based in San Marcos, California, United States, checks all these boxes for their clients. Their team of over 50 people helps companies with PR, marketing, and retail strategy.
“We're not an agency that started just to do PR and marketing. We started because we have such a passion for our brands,” says Amber Masciorini, a senior PR account executive at ChicExecs.
Prior to starting ChicExecs, the founders built ChicBuds, a product line that made it to Target, Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, Neiman Marcus, and several other retailers. They were also featured on The Today Show, in People and InStyle, and other media outlets.
“As entrepreneurs themselves, the founders know how difficult it can be to start a product line and build it into a successful brand,” says Masciorini. “By garnering exposure in the biggest media publications and placements in major retailers, they had a bird’s-eye view of what it takes to appeal to buyers and the media. They then duplicated their recipe for success and created ChicExecs.”
ChicExecs recently won a Bronze Stevie Award in the Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories for Public Relations Agency of the Year at The 17th Annual American Business Awards®.
Interested in winning a Stevie Award in 2020?