If you work in PR, you’re no doubt pretty adaptable. The industry is constantly in a state of flux, journalists are always on the move, and you’re expected to know what’s trending (influencers putting heat protector on their toast, anyone?) the minute it goes viral. But while brands of old may have been content to settle for PRs who spent their days popping champagne with journalists, the modern day client has a long list of demands that the best agencies work hard to satisfy:
Data, data, data
Clients want numbers, and they want to work with PRs who understand the importance of explaining ROI to those at the top. With budgets getting tighter and marketing departments being required to do more with less, knowing the true impact of what you do has power.
Those commissioning PR agencies want to know that you can:
- Deliver an excellent report that they can copy and paste into their own monthly tracking
- Understand the meaning behind the figures. Campaign going gangbusters? Here’s how we can double down. Not performing as expected? We’re already making changes to get results.
- Pull reports quickly and easily – instead of spending hours going through every email you’ve sent to a journo and wasting valuable pitching time, clients want you to be smarter about how you’re tracking and analysing your (and by extension, their) performance.
“By monitoring the activity log of each image we’ve uploaded to Flaunter, we can easily assess how a specific product range is being received and make decisions accordingly. For industry press activity, this has an even bigger impact, as it has strong influence on the wholesale business. As an independent eyewear brand, we need easy reporting with insightful trend information that we take into account when designing new collections and making strategic decisions.”
– Caue Carneiro, AM Eyewear
Tell them what’s trending
One of the key benefits of working with an agency is their access to trends across a range of brands and sectors. Marketing managers are often siloed inside their organisations and want the consultants they work with to provide an outside perspective on the bigger industry picture.
That means they are looking to you to give them insight into what’s trending from a media and a consumer perspective, including what sort of products are being searched for and what’s not getting traction. PRs can position themselves as being on the front line of this coveted information, adding a layer of brand-specific insight that’s invaluable to your clients.
“Brands need to do more to connect with their consumers and offer genuine and authentic value beyond simply selling their products, and this is equally true for the media. Brands who are able to demonstrate how they have overcome the challenges of the past year while developing stronger, genuine relationships with their consumers will prove stronger in the long-term – and these are the types of stories that journalists are interested in writing about.”
– Jake Halpin, Gloss Communications
Take a seat at the strategic table
Brands don’t just want the same old tactics – they are increasingly expecting Public Relations to be a linchpin, ensuring story-telling and communication is at the forefront of big picture discussions around brand, strategy and idea generation. No longer just about getting product coverage in the pages of glossies, PRs are being asked to develop brand-led strategies bringing together content, thought leadership, social media, traditional media, brand building and more.
“One of the most undervalued services PR professionals can provide to their brands is strategic insight. In order to do so successfully, PR professionals must develop a well-rounded skillset which can be applied to any number of situations – whether it’s business insights, project management, relationship development or consumer perspectives – all of which carry relevant and essential insights to brands when developing wider strategic decision-making.”
– Jake Halpin, Gloss Communications
Working smarter, not harder
Big brands are paying you for your expertise, connections, and implementation of a PR plan – not to trawl through excel spreadsheets and track emails manually. Brands expect the agencies they work with to be at the forefront of technology and tools that minimise the daily grind so you can spend more time adding value.
Big brands use tech tools and SaaS products in every corner of their business, and don’t expect PR to be any exception.
“Our industry is constantly changing, so adapting quickly is always a priority to us. Having shifted so much more to digital assets with our brands more so recently, the agility we find with Flaunter suits us down to the ground. Live links for us has been a great assets in that way; getting it out quickly, then knowing you can update all the fine details or any issues after the fact lets us turn out so much more in a quick way.”
– Ashley Scott, Arc Factory
Are you delivering on what the modern day client is looking for from their PR consultants? What else do you think PRs need to be doing to ensure we’re indispensable?