The one who first thought about the need to apply to the services of PR-specialists, immediately have many additional questions – starting with where and how to look for them, ending with – and what, in fact, is required of these specialists?
Company owners often wonder what kind of PR strategy will suit their company and how exactly they need to be implemented: on their own or on outsourcing, whether one specialist is enough or a whole PR department is needed.
Let’s try to figure out in what cases it is worth to hire a full-time PR-specialist, and in which cases – to resort to the help of a PR-agency.
Both the agency and the staff specialist have their pros and cons, but you can try to identify a universal criterion. In fact, it all comes down to the scale of your enterprise.
It’s not that PR services are a panacea in all cases; it all depends on the specific parameters of your business. Our agency https://adrenaline-studios.com/ is ready to provide the help of public relations specialists for its clients.
The search for a PR specialist should begin with answers to simple questions: why does this employee need an enterprise, what functions will he perform (see below Basic functions of a PR department).
Will it be just a competent executor performing the orders of various departments of the company, or are you looking for a manager who can manage its reputation?
Often, a PR specialist is made of such a requirement – protection against information threats. At the same time, for many managers, protection is equal to “closeness”, and this is where the first danger lurks.
So, in the late 1990s, my acquaintance, deputy general director of a metropolitan enterprise, after experiencing an attack by raiders, accompanied by a noisy information campaign, opened a vacancy for the head of the PR department.
His main requirement was that the candidate has experience in law enforcement. As a result, the head of the public relations department at the enterprise appeared, but the connections themselves were not.
Work in a consulting or PR-company.
This is the best option. As a rule, the activities of such companies are organized in such a way that in a very short time employees receive a rich and diverse experience in various areas: organizing events, communicating with journalists, writing press releases, messages and other press materials, participating in the preparation of PR concepts.
Maintenance, basics of monitoring and analysis. Even if the experience gained is insufficient, an understanding of the complex organization of work appears. Of course, you need to know exactly which position your candidate worked for (if he headed the monitoring department for several years, he is unlikely to organize a large event, but if he, for example, successfully conducted several projects as a PR manager or led the relevant department this fact speaks well for the applicant).
Experts who participated in election projects also have diverse experience. One of the most well-known domestic PR gurus generally believes that election work is an indicator of the professionalism and success of a specialist.
From the point of view of many leaders, this factor is in itself a plus. But be careful: it is quite possible that your understanding of PR activities does not coincide with the idea of another director-general about him, and the specialist who came to you performed other functions in another enterprise.
For example, he wrote instructions for personnel behavior or published an internal corporate newspaper, organized exhibitions. And he solved only one of these tasks.
The advantage of such specialists is a good knowledge of the industry, specialized media. The disadvantages can be attributed, as a rule, narrow functionality and the habit of performing only individual orders.
On the one hand, this experience is very useful: journalists, re-trained in PR-specialists, well understand their former colleagues and know how to organize fruitful cooperation with them.
But, on the other hand, a journalist who did not work earlier as a PR specialist will need a period of adaptation. And if you yourself are not able to set extremely clear tasks and at first personally organize the work of a new employee, then perhaps this will not be the best option for you.
If you have a small business, really small, then, in fact, you do not need a public relations specialist or a PR agency. As the head of the company, at this stage, you will know best what your business needs and does not need.
Tasks for PR manager you, too, most likely, insufficient quantities will not be typed.
When a business is just small – up to 15 employees, with working capital of up to 4 million per month – a full-time specialist will be enough. Most likely, in this case, you will not hire a high-class professional who is expensive, and the immediate needs of your company are not really needed. Then the PR-agency can help you with consultations if your aspiring specialist faces any non-template or new tasks for him.
For a medium-sized business, there are no definitive answers. It largely depends on the scale of your business, market niche and other factors. However, the following scheme often works well: you have one or two full-time specialists to solve typical routine tasks, be it updating or administering a site, maintaining social networks, preparing marketing materials or sending out press releases.
They cope with these tasks regularly and there are no problems. In cases that are beyond the scope of these responsibilities, you can contact the agency.
This may be, for example, the development of a PR strategy, in line with which your staff specialists will then work, the implementation of unique projects for which there is not enough knowledge of regular PR specialists.
In any case, carry out all crisis communications only through an agency and public relations specialist. In the case of an emergency, the company’s reputation is at stake, with improper handling, everything can end very badly.
For a large business, public relations specialist services are supposed to be cheaper than the internal PR department: you will save on paying taxes for your staff specialist, you will not need to equip workplaces, the agency will not fall ill and will not flee on maternity leave.
Depending on the stage of business development, goals and objectives of the company, we are ready to solve problems, ranging from consulting PR-services and PR-support of events, reputational audit and preparation of communication strategies, ending with the full-scale operation of the system of the internal and external communications business.
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