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How Do Pr Companies Work?

Dec 25, 2007
Public relations companies work closely with their clients to help them create a positive public image, manage public opinion and generate non-paid media and internet-based publicity.

When you hire a public relations company, it's important to share information with your account services team about your company's mission, business practices and marketing goals. The team of public relations professionals assigned to work on your account will utilize this information to create a public relations plan and strategy that is customized for your business.

Client Contact Typically, a public relations agency will assign an account executive to each client. This person serves as the liaison between the team at the PR firm assigned to work on your account and your company. Your account executive will work with the firm's team to create and implement a public relations plan that is aligned with your company's strategic plan.

The plan will be submitted to you for approval and you will be able to ask questions, request additional information, and suggest revisions. Depending on your contract and your public relations needs, you may receive a new plan each month, quarter or year.

Account Services Team In addition to the account executive, the account services team assigned to work on your behalf will generally include a copywriter, a publicist and a graphic artist. The copywriter will handle writing news releases, creating copy for your brochures, writing inquiry letters to media contacts and other writing tasks.

Publicists specialize in communicating with media representatives to help generate publicity for your company. The services of a good publicist who has strong professional contacts with reporters, talk show producers, and high-profile bloggers are invaluable. Publicists constantly seek new venues in which your company's products or services can be promoted and they pitch relevant information to gatekeepers of media coverage.

The graphic artist assigned to your account will be responsible for creating and sustaining the visual aspects of your corporate image. This individual will handle layout and design for all printed public relations materials including letterhead, press kit folders, product packaging and more. The graphic artist can also design a new logo for your company if needed.

Selecting a Public Relations Agency When shopping for a public relations firm, it is in your best interest to seek a company with experience in your industry. For example, if you are the marketing director for a publishing company, you will want to hire a public relations company with expertise in promoting books and authors. If you are looking for a public relations agency to help launch a new software application, it is in your best interest to select a company with technology and software experience, as well as new product launches.

Compensation for Public Relations Agencies Some public relations companies enter into retainer relationships with their clients. The terms of the retainer agreement will specify the types of actions that are covered for a pre-determined monthly fee. Retainers usually cover all ongoing public relations needs, such as writing and submitting news releases, communicating with the media, designing brochures or other marketing materials and other tasks based on client needs.

Alternatively, many clients and public relations companies enter into a work-for-hire agreement, which involves paying an hourly or pre-determined fee for specific actions. Companies who handle many of their own public relations needs internally often utilize work-for-hire relationships with public relations firms to handle specific events or new product launches.
About the Author
Good Public Relations is the key to facilitating quality communication between companies and the public. Keeping your public informed is the best way to foster long-lasting, trusting relationships.
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