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For those of us in the PR industry, it is very important to maintain and enhance our relationships with current clients. Developing these connections make our tasks more satisfying and effective, because clients want to know that they matter and are more willing to cooperate if they feel as if they do.

Making sure these relationships work is what keeps us in business, and here are some topics to look at when improving your interactions with clients.

Always be transparent and honest
As the professional consultant, you have to say ‘no’ if the client is asking for things that are not in his best interest or that are beyond your capabilities. In this situation, it is important to explain the reasons for not accepting the project and to suggest alternatives. But beyond the no’s, also be willing to say yes. When something comes up that is beyond your comfort zone, be open to taking the extra strides to make it work – if it could mean something big for your client. The more work you are able to secure for your client, the more valuable you will become.
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PR Counseling:

Using general terms, counseling in PR refers to how we communicate with our clients. More specifically, counseling is a recommended course of action that will serve the client’s short and/or long term goals, suggesting a modification or change in the client’s current communications stance, actions or organization based on an event or a change in an external audience.

It is imperative that clients view their PR consultants as a strategic partner, and a very effective way to get them to do this, is to offer well-thought through strategic counsel.

When is specific counsel required?

Situations in which a client might require specific counsel include serious perception problems; not moving products rapidly enough; seeking to expand into new markets; threatened with takeover, lawsuit or investigation; competition is making significant inroads; reputation has been damaged; accused of polluting the environment; pioneered new technology and ready to go to market; etc.
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Sink is broke; do you call A. a chef, B. a lawyer, or C. a plumber? The answer should be pretty straightforward – at least we hope it is –just like it should be obvious who you would hire to promote the image and reputation of your company. (By the way, the first answer is C., and of course for the latter it’s a PR agency)

Just about every company would give what for great PR, from the biggest global organization to the corner market down the street. PR means getting your name, products and services out there; beckoning the world to your door.

A big mistake companies are making during tough economic times is ‘dumping’ their PR load on unsuspecting employees. Most organizations that don’t outsource PR are depending, in-house, on who they’ve already got to do it for them, specialized or not. Problem is having one person do a job that isn’t really a ‘one man job’. Here’s a helpful hint, there are actually people out there who will do that for you, isn’t that amazing?

Here are a few reasons why you should hire a PR agency to perpetuate your name.

Been there, done that
There’s nothing we haven’t seen, and nothing PRs aren’t willing to do in the name of your company, well, almost nothing. If you do manage to come up with something completely out of left field, the combined experience of our professional team is certain to come up with something. We’ve done the case studies, the copy writing, the interviews, the editorials; to the point that it’s been ingrained into our very being, because this is what we do every single day. What you get in the end is a MARCOM department, without actually investing in one.
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Our CEO sneezed; let’s announce it through a press conference! – There was a time not so long ago when this was the case, with press conferences being held every single day. The only thing missing was a press conference to announce an upcoming press conference!

If there’s one positive outcome from the financial crisis, it’s that companies no longer have the budgets to hold so many press conferences. I bet a lot of them look back at the good old days and regret booking all those fancy 5-star hotel conference rooms and giving away all those free BlackBerrys to the media!

If you’re not going to disclose the secrets of the operation that killed Bin Laden then why bother with holding a press conference? There’s nothing that can’t be told through a good old press release.

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In a world where consumers are increasingly becoming tired of traditional methods of PR and advertising – and to a large extent have built up immunity to such campaigns – creative professionals are being pushed to explore innovative and some what unorthodox alternatives for raising brand awareness and the profiles of their clients. While some businesses – particularly in the Middle East, as reported in a recent article published in The National (Middle East consumers are being targeted by stealth advertising – The National) – are opting for more ‘covert’ methods of marketing to break through this barrier, others are taking a more aggressive approach.

One example of this is guerilla marketing; a philosophy which harnesses thinking ‘out of the box’ in order to generate a buzz, it encourages companies to implement ‘shock tactics’ to leave lasting impressions.

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Working with a PR agency is the most efficient way to reach mass audiences and it can be a very rewarding experience if done right.

A PR agency can generate awareness for your company’s products by promoting the image you want for your brand. It will also give you an edge over the competition, who may not be using PR effectively or even at all. Agencies also use their talent and expertise to explore new channels of communication by opening doors and inviting new opportunities for their clients. Dice reading 'P' and 'R'

Now that we have established the benefits of hiring a PR agency, the remaining question is – What are the criteria for choosing the right PR agency to fulfill your company’s needs?

1. Research: You should always do the research before choosing a PR agency. Start gathering background information by asking people in your industry about the agencies they know or which ones they’ve done business with. Continue reading »

A reporter’s job is to get the most interesting angle out of a story. If there’s something scandalous, confidential or even remotely fascinating, we guarantee it will be brought up. Preparation is the ultimate word of wisdom on the matter; predicting the questions is critical for preparing great answers.

A stamp and a print showing 'confidentia'

These are some tough issues that may present themselves in an interview.

It’s Personal
Nothing is personal anymore. Your business is everybody’s business, particularly if you’re a public figure and especially since the explosion of social media. When answering these delicate questions, it’s important to acknowledge the point, and then direct the answer towards your favour. You should always have prepared and rehearsed responses when you know there is an issue that will surface, like a recent divorce or scandal of some sort.
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