For many, having a PR firm on retainer is a signifier of being established as a company. But not every organization needs a PR firm or is ready to invest in PR. So, how do you know when you need PR? Here are some situations that indicate you may be ready.

Time-sensitive Situations

  1. A crisis situation is brewing that risks backlash from the public. If managed poorly, this crisis could damage your brand’s reputation or even invite legal action. A good PR firm specializing in crisis communications will help you diffuse tensions and navigate through the storm with carefully crafted messages.
  2. A major announcement such as a merger, acquisition, or CEO change is pending and will need to be carefully messaged to various audiences, including employees, external stakeholders and the public. A PR team will help you make a big splash (or avoid some backlash to change) with this announcement.
  3. Your company has received a major investment and wants to leverage it tell the market you have arrived. A PR firm can create a wave of coverage and raise awareness of your game-changing products and solutions.
  4. Your business is preparing to introduce a new product to the market and wants to make a big splash. A coordinated PR team can create excitement among media outlets and help coordinate with influencers in your target markets, ensuring news of your new product reaches prospective customers.
  5. Your in-house team is overwhelmed with a large number of media inquiries and requests for information, and they need assistance managing and responding. PR experts can step in here by building and strengthening those key media relationships, ensuring that every opportunity is pursued efficiently and effectively.
  6. You’re new to your role and would like to include a PR firm as a part of your company’s new communications team. In this case, you need to figure out what kind of PR firm you need and narrow your search to your top candidates.

Brand Management

  1. You want to increase excitement and buzz around your brand and solutions in order to attract a big investment or an outright sale. PR can help generate media attention and get you noticed by a potential investor.
  2. Your brand needs a refresh and a boost to its reputation in the market. Whether this is a result of customers not connecting with legacy messages and marketing materials or of a backlash from the public or staff, a PR firm can help revitalize your brand’s image and reintroduce it to the marketplace.
  3. You’re struggling with recruiting top talent and want to show prospective candidates that you’re an employer of choice. PR can help refresh your messaging to recruits and lift up your company as a best place to work.
  4. Your company is tired of seeing competitors in the limelight, sometimes mimicking your own marketing messages and talking points, and you are ready to receive the attention you deserve. A PR team can position you for success and help you stand out from the crowd when it matters most.
  5. Your brand wants to be differentiated as the undisputed leader in the marketplace. A PR firm can foster this perception via positive coverage by the media, analysts, influencers and the public on social media.

Messaging and Positioning Help

  1. Your company needs a strategic plan to bring your communications programs together into an integrated, strategic approach. A PR firm can bring all those messages together and develop a unified communications plan matched to your business objectives.
  2. Your executives and subject matter experts need media and presentation training to stay on message and better connect with audiences. PR experts can help executives, SMEs and other spokespeople get comfortable speaking to the media and staying on message when fielding questions.
  3. Your company needs assistance in devising a full messaging framework that unifies and guides the communications of all executives and employees. A PR firm with expertise in strategic communications can develop a comprehensive communications strategy that clearly outlines the messages and mediums available to staff.
  4. Your CEO or another executive wants to raise their profile as a thought leader within the industry. A PR firm will be able to build that thought leadership platform and provide the strategic counsel needed to ensure your thought leaders are maximizing their impact on the industry.
  5. Your company’s reputation could be at risk in any number of crisis-level scenarios, and you want to comprehensively plan in advance to ensure that your organization is well-equipped to head them off or address them swiftly and effectively when they arise.

Educating the Market

  1. You want to educate government policymakers and regulators on a particular issue that impacts your company so they can make smart policy decisions. A PR firm with a strong presence in DC and experience in public affairs can help you shape policy and influence those decisionmakers.
  2. Your company wants to increase sales by equipping the sales and marketing teams with third-party endorsements, such as positive media coverage about a customer success story. A PR firm can help identify, secure and the produce the content for these media opportunities and empower your teams with new collateral.
  3. Your company wants to educate the market on a new approach to solving a challenge or a new product that customers aren’t yet aware they need. A PR firm can help prime the market for the launch via strategic media campaigns and product demos.

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then you may need to hire a PR firm sooner rather than later. Feel free to reach out to us at RH Strategic if you operate in the technology, healthcare, or government sectors.

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RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government and healthcare markets.