By Paityn Miles, summer intern
I have been with Commonwealth Public Relations as a summer intern for about two months now; and in the time that I have spent working with the team, my eyes have been opened to the importance of the public relations industry.
Before starting this internship, I really wasn’t fully aware of all of the services that public relations agencies and specialists can offer to their clients. When thinking about future business endeavors a mere two months ago, my answer for what and who I would need to start my business would be much different than my answer for the same question today. The biggest difference? Having a public relations agency as part of your team from the beginning.
When looking to start any type of business, there are a handful of key roles that typically come to mind when thinking of instrumental members that you should have on your team. Some of these include graphic and web designers that can handle the creative and digital side of things, accountants that can keep track of a budget and advise your spending, attorneys that can make sure that you are following any regulations that may be put into place, and, of course, investors that provide the funds necessary to get your business off the ground.
The role of a public relations agency or specialist is oftentimes overlooked when factoring in all of the necessary expenses to start a business. Frequently, those just starting their ventures see public relations work as something extra that would be more of a priority once they have launched their brand. What these people fail to realize is that having a PR agency or specialist proves to be crucial in helping their business take off.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider hiring a PR agency as you are starting your business:
- Spreading awareness. It’s a simple fact that the more people that know about a brand, the more customers they are likely to have. It’s pretty hard to increase business if the general public is essentially unaware that you exist. PR specialists can help get stories about your business placed in newspapers, online media sources, magazines and more, that will in turn increase awareness among the public.
- Shaping a favorable image.When starting out as a business, it is paramount to make a good impression in the community. PR professionals can help to make sure that the positive aspects of your brand are being shared with the community and general public.
- Targeting intended audience.Depending on your type of business, it is likely that your products or services are largely aimed towards a certain audience. A PR agency can help you to reach those specific audiences through earning placements in niche publications that align with your target market.
- Sharing brand values.Along with shaping a favorable image for your business, PR professionals can help share your brand values with the public. Maybe you donate a portion of your proceeds to a charitable organization or you have a mission of promoting equality within your business – a PR agency can help to make sure that these values are shared with the community.
- Building credibility and recognition. Working with PR professionals to help get a story about your business mentioned in a magazine article or placed in a publication helps spread awareness while also increasing your credibility. Because it isn’t a direct paid advertisement and instead a mention, it comes off as a recommendation from a credible source.
- Establishing a place in the community. PR professionals can help your business in creating a relationship within the community. Any community events, donating to local charities, or performing service acts can make for a great story that might be picked up by some local publications, showcasing your business being involved with the community.
While I have spent this post highlighting on all of the ways that hiring a PR agency or specialist is important when starting your business, this is not to say these professionals aren’t important once your business is established as well. All of these benefits that come with hiring a PR agency require work in order to maintain.
Like our brand tagline indicates – Strategic Communications for All Seasons of Business. We want to work with you to help grow your business, no matter what stage you’re in. Interested in learning more about our services? Let’s talk!
Paityn is a rising senior at the University of Michigan where she is majoring in communication studies. She has been an intern at Commonwealth PR since May and has assisted the team on a number of projects for various clients.