I am cheating. Found this article on Ragan’s PR Daily (one of my favourite sites) that explains something I try all the time and I am sure so do other PR agencies. Its especially difficult for the smaller, local clients that have never considered PR or even understand it. Here – PR – is what the guy does when he gets your visa sorted.

I was helping a local event recently to get PR and encouraging its participants to get stories and was quite surprised to see how few of them understood it.

So for all of them (and all of us) here is what PR means (reproduced from PR Daily).

For the most part, potential clients understand the importance and power of public relations. But they have countless questions and can be unsure of the impact that potentially costly marketing and advertising might have on their businesses.

The last thing business owners want is to be unsure of where their money is going. Here are a few key elements that can help you explain the definite value of investing in public relations for their business.

Credibility

Credibility is key. More and more, consumers are becoming wary and skeptical of advertising. Advertising messages seem to keep becoming less credible in this new fast paced, Internet-centric culture. How many ads along the sides of Web pages are barely glanced at because you know there’s a catch involved? How many spam emails advertisements do you have in your inbox at this very moment?

Consumers are automatically on the defensive about being sold something they don’t want or need. Public relations experts are here to make sure information is presented in a credible, legitimate fashion.

Thinking long-term

How many times, as a PR agent, have you heard this: “We love what you do, we just don’t have the budget for it right now.” When a potential client says this, he or she is thinking short-term.

You need to assure your clients that you’ll be there for them through the long haul. Make sure they know how adaptive to current marketing issues you can be. Right now might be a downtime for your potential clients financially, but slow and steady wins the race.

Time is valuable

Starting and running a business requires a great deal of hard work. It takes endless dedication and time. Business owners have their hands in every single aspect of their company. From hiring and firing to writing paychecks to clerical and even janitorial work, marketing and advertising is just one weight they can easily get off their shoulders.

Hiring and working with a third-party public relations expert saves immeasurable time for clients. There already aren’t enough hours in the day. As their PR agent you can give them a few back.

Ready-made connections

The bottom line is that public relations experts have connections. Connections your potential clients truly need and that they can’t always find and make themselves. In the world of public relations, you know the market segments and you know who the influencers are out there.

Public relations is essential to the success of individual businesses. The value of public relations may be underestimated, but with honesty and integrity, you can prove just how needed you are.

Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of eReleases and blogs at PR Fuel, where a version of this article first appeared.

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