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#BizTrends2018: How to get more value from your PR partner

Your PR agency should be able to deliver a full spectrum communication service that can play a pivotal role in most areas of your business. If not, rethink how to use your PR partner to ensure you are taking advantage of their specific skills set.
Jane & Jane
Gone are the days of using your PR agency simply to “get your news into the media”. With a plethora of new ways to reach your desired audience more quickly than ever, you may be wondering if “PR” can still play a worthwhile and valuable role in your business in 2018. The simple answer is yes.

We have seen a marked change in the role of B2B PR over the last five years, and have noted four ways for businesses to ensure they get the most out of their PR partner in the year ahead.

  1. Consider your PR partner part of the sales team


    Your PR person should know your elevator pitch backwards – in fact, they can probably help you craft it. Consider using a trained PR professional as the initial point of contact between your business and potential clients. We have seen good results from new business drives using this approach. Ask your PR partner to make use of their traditional media liaison skills to phone around and sniff out the best point of contact at a potential new client, and make a first connection with them. A well-crafted introduction from your PR person can make a prospective client aware of your business and create interest before the sales team steps in.

  2. Tap your PR partner’s ability to research the market


    A PR practitioner should be a dab hand at online research, and this skill can be used to support your business not only in the ongoing search for new client leads, but also for conducting competitor analyses. Being “in the know” when it comes to your competitors’ activities and offerings can help measurably with your strategic planning. A skilled PR partner should be proficient at conducting thorough market research and condensing their findings into tangible recommendations for your business.

  3. Make full use of classic PR writing ability


    When you choose a PR partner, excellent writing skills should be non-negotiable. Maximise their ability to write proposals, brochures, newsletters and short form content – both for internal and external use. As copywriters and proofreaders, they can ensure your business communication in all forms is well written with a consistent tone.

  4. Use your PR partner’s knack for spotting an opportunity


    From awards you could be winning, to sponsorships you should be pursuing, your PR partner should always be on the lookout for new opportunities. Let them bolster your marketing function as much as possible. In a retained capacity, they can play a valuable support role to a small marketing team or, indeed, in lieu of a marketing team in the startup stage of your business.

    In 2018, your PR is as important as ever – you just need to rethink how to leverage your PR partner’s skills to positively impact your business. Start by getting them involved with every aspect of your communication, and challenge them to find fresh ways to add value.
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About the author

Jane&Jane Executive PR was launched in 2015 by Jane Belchers and Jane Gordon to focus on the specific needs of professional services firms and SMEs. Based in Cape Town, they help to position organisations for growth through high quality messaging and business development initiatives. www.janejane.biz
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