Some company leaders may think that partnering with experts to devise a public relations strategy is only relevant for large, well-known corporations. However, even if you are leading a midsize company, hiring a PR firm still offers many benefits.
Working with PR experts can help a midsize company craft more effective external communications, create solid connections with journalists and build a strong reputation within its industry and community. Taking some of these public-facing tasks off of your internal team’s plate allows leadership to focus on other important aspects of running and marketing the business.
Below, 15 members of Forbes Communications Council explain why they believe your midsize company could benefit from hiring a PR firm.
1. You Can Set The Right Tone For All Communications
All organizations should be intentional about their story and live up to a great reputation. It takes expertise and experience to set the right tone for communication on all channels. Business development, fundraising and HR benefit when good news gets out to the world. An external consultant is a great way to add capacity and avoid missteps that require crisis communications in the future. – Sylvia Ewing, Elevate Energy
2. You Can Use It As A Mass Marketing Strategy
Having a PR firm is critically important for companies of all sizes. For small and midsize companies, PR is often one of the few forms of mass marketing that the company is doing. As such, this is a primary way that the company builds credibility and awareness with its target customers. When done well, PR can really amplify and drive home a company’s message, resulting in a very strong ROI. – Sherry Jhawar, Blended Strategy Group
3. You’ll Create Broad And Credible Brand Awareness
PR is the very best way to create broad and credible awareness of your company and offerings. Developing relationships with reporters in your space is an investment that grows as your business grows. – Karyn Scott, Kloudspot Inc.
4. You Will Be Able To Punch Above Your Weight
Midsize companies can punch above their weight if they have a strong PR strategy in place. Hiring a savvy PR firm can help the company develop a thought leadership strategy, get media mentions, respond to PR crises, plan surveys or research and build industry awareness. Increased share of voice can really help a midsize company attract more prospects and close more deals. – Tom Treanor, Treasure Data
5. You Can Leverage Existing Media Relationships
It takes a lot of time to build relationships with the media, and a good PR firm already has those in place. Hiring a strong PR firm allows you to leverage those relationships more quickly, supercharging your initiatives. We’ve found that hiring a PR firm has helped us execute thought leadership and made local hiring strategies much more effective than we could have on our own. – Robert Neely, Lima One Capital
6. You’ll Gain More Visibility With The Press
PR firms have strong relationships with journalists, including journalists at industry publications. Getting media pickup or placement in a publication can be difficult if you don’t already have those relationships, so the PR firm can help you get more visibility for your company’s announcements and information. – Lyndsi Stevens, Celerium
7. You’ll Be Able To Achieve Your Press Goals
On the resources side, teams at midsize companies may not have the resources or the experience to execute on a PR strategy. Often for the same price of hiring a junior-level PR specialist, you can find a PR firm to put on retainer that will help achieve your press goals. In terms of connections, the firm should know reporters and how best to reach them. – Melissa Kandel, little word studio
8. You’ll Be Prepared For A PR Crisis
PR crises can happen to any company regardless of size. If you’re not equipped to handle a response, it can be incredibly tricky to manage alone. Not only are PR firms well-connected and well-versed in handling any situation, but you can also feel confident that you’re in good hands if you need help. PR firms often have strategies and tools at the ready when it’s time to jump into action. – Victoria Zelefsky, The Menkiti Group
9. You Can Become A Go-To Source For Editors
PR firms have media relationships and tactical experience working with the media that midsize companies typically lack. Agencies often know which stories editors are working on outside of published editorial calendars. Many editors rely on agencies to provide them with sources for a story. A PR firm can also help a company look at the media landscape, provide media training and assist in a crisis. – Kris Pugsley, ON Semiconductor
10. You Can Build A Strong Public Persona
Every business should care about the way it is portrayed online. Having a good relationship with the public allows your business to be seen in a good light. Taking the time to correctly build your business’s credibility in the media can go such a long way. – Christian Anderson, Lost Boy Entertainment Company
11. You Can Gain Outside Perspective On Your Brand
An outsider’s take is always appreciated. Company leaders are often immersed in their own messaging, and it’s perfectly understandable—they spend countless hours obsessing about their company and its unique situation. Unfortunately, this makes them vulnerable to making external missteps in outward communication through no fault of their own. Hire a PR firm and avoid those costly missteps. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
12. You’ll See Better Results Than Part-Time Efforts Can Produce
Part-time efforts don’t achieve comparable results in most cases. Occasionally, there are exceptions, but they are few and far between. Often the PR firm’s experience and relationships are distinguishing factors that lead to different results. Midsize firms may require many to be generalists, when getting real results often demands a specialist. – Mark Nicholson, Match Financial
13. You Can Amplify Your Brand Story
Developing your brand story is essential. The problem is, your story won’t be worth much if nobody is around to hear it. Hiring a PR agency can help you not only design your story in a way that speaks to your brand’s values and aesthetics, but also put that message out in top-tier media outlets. After you’ve built a story and some buzz around it, you can see if the ROI justifies the cost. – Amine Rahal, Regal Assets
14. You’ll Enjoy Three Important Benefits
There are three benefits. First, clarity of messaging: PR experts can help a team more clearly articulate the brand position and market differentiation, with an eye to what will resonate with the press. Next, crisis communications: Expert support and counsel can ensure a midsize firm isn’t overwhelmed or all-consumed by a PR crisis. Finally, strategic partnerships: Relationship building is a core tenet of a good PR strategy. – Michaella Solar-March, Tishman Speyer
15. You’ll Have An Extra Hand To Assist With Growth
I would argue that midsize companies might need it more because of where they are in their growth stage. When you are a midsize company, you are experiencing double- or triple-digit growth, and your market is usually very competitive with established players. Growth is an all-hands-on-deck kind of thing. PR is one of those hands. – Stacy Gentile, Vengreso