The Role of a PR Agency and How To Measure Success

The Role of a PR Agency

Let’s get right to the point. The role of a PR agency is to help you generate positive press coverage. By securing earned media stories in relevant publications, the agency helps elevate your visibility, educate your intended audience, and bolster your credibility. The underlying concept is simple: heightened awareness, coupled with a clear understanding of your offerings and trust in your brand, significantly enhances the likelihood of generating more sales leads and closing deals. So it’s easy to understand how important and increasingly critical PR is for B2B operations.

PR is often confused with advertising and marketing. S.H. Simmons once summarized the differences between the three as: “If a young man tells his date how handsome, smart, and successful he is – that’s advertising. If the young man tells his date she’s intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he’s saying the right things to the right person and that’s marketing.  If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is – that’s PR.”

When you break it down like this, it becomes clear why PR is so successful; because it is not you making a claim about how great you are, or you telling someone else how great they are. Instead, it is an independent third party that adds an unbiased layer of validation and credibility to what is being said. This is how industrial, aerospace, and technology companies are increasing revenue. 

Where traditional PR falls short

Unfortunately, to take advantage of these attributes, you really have to evolve past many of the outdated PR strategies that overly prioritize company-centric content, focusing instead on addressing customer needs and concerns.

We’ve all seen releases that read something like: “So-and-So Named CFO” or “Just Won the Not Such a Big Deal Award,’” which may not resonate or provide value for the target audience.

Therefore, to maximize impact the PR agency has to deliver insightful, educational, and even disruptive content that benefits your target audience. That’s the first step.

By doing that, you can begin to target the right publications for that content. The more places you can generate published content, the better.

What is the role of a PR Agency in attracting new business?

By increasing impressions or the number of people that read the content, you will begin to organically grow new business leads and even re-engage old leads and customers, prompting their return to the sales cycle.

Positive press serves as a powerful asset throughout the sales cycle, influencing prospects at every stage. As an example, a proficient PR agency not only secures favorable coverage but also addresses the questions or challenges of potential customers within published articles.  By providing informative responses and insights, these articles ultimately help guide prospects closer to conversion.  Sales leads arrive already well-informed, not just on common sales objections, but also on your differentiators and value propositions. In this way, positive press becomes a dynamic force driving engagement and conversions within the sales pipeline.

A PR agency must understand your business

Going beyond the content and the distribution, your PR agency should not only have a thorough understanding of your company and offerings but also specialize in the markets you service and the people who are making the business decisions.

While various methods exist for crafting compelling stories that resonate with your ideal customers, we’ve discovered one particular type of content that is reigning supreme in the world of digital marketing that consistently yields higher conversion rates. This involves showcasing articles where your customers speak on your behalf. To do this, we hone in on your success stories- highlighting projects where you went above and beyond to solve your customer’s problems.

What problems did you solve? In what areas did you make a quantifiable impact? What measurables could also translate to other companies? 

How do I measure PR?

Finally, you are going to want to measure the success of your PR campaign and a good metric for this is its impact on sales. However, that is a long-term indicator. In the short term, the role of the PR agency is to track:

Track your press clippings. You want to generate a large number of mentions in media outlets that target your customers and successfully raise awareness for your business.

Track impressions. Keep an eye on the quantity of people viewing your messaging to measure success and drive action.

Conduct content analysis. Quality matters both in the content and placement. Does your content solve problems? Is it educational, insightful, and maybe even a little disruptive? Be sure to continually analyze your content for effectiveness.

Compare equivalent ad rates. Figure out what it would cost to include your messaging across the same amount of space within a given publication. (You’ll likely see that you’re saving money with good PR!)

Facilitate lead sourcing. Track inbound queries by your sales team with surveys or questions such as “How did you hear about us?” That way, you can put more effort toward channels that yield results and rethink your strategy on the channels that aren’t.

You should also consider whether or not you are generating more leads. Does the collateral help shorten sales cycles? Is your website traffic increasing, etc?

With attention spans growing shorter and shorter and the marketplace becoming increasingly more crowded, a good PR strategy is crucial. If you are looking for a PR agency that can cut through the noise and position your brand as a leader in the industry, reach out to Rankin PR.