PR DOES WORK. If I look across our marketing mix today it remains strategically important. And of all the vendor - agency relationships, the one with the PR Agency is certainly the most trying and important.
Here are a couple of other reasons that I've seen occur regularly here in the Valley - where the clients can be very sophisticated:
- When the Agency really invests to grok the client's business, PR works big time. Lack of understanding by the PR agency of the clients business. The Agency applies the formula that worked - or is working best - to the new clients business rather that truly understanding the client's business...
- ... which is often a result of very junior staff pretty much doing all the work on accounts that require senior experience (PR Works where the internal and external team mix is right!)...
- ...which means, they fail to grok the client's audience and tailor the media campaign for that audience...
- ... which is worsened by the client that doesn't grok their audience, what they read, or what their circle of influence is... PR Works where everyone groks the audience and understands how to communicate effectively with them - and that might mean skipping the media alltogether.
- Clients don't manage the relationship with brutal honestly and accountability. And that gets exacerbated by lack of clear and agreed outcomes at the get-go. PR Works when you start with the end in mind and measure progress along the way.
- Agencies value work done over outcomes delivered... PR Works where the Client is clear about what they value.
- ... but don't invest to deliver value add in terms of measurement and strategy. If it ain't on the clock, it ain't happening. PR Works where the Agency invests in adding value.
- and the main one... The Agency doesn't deliver on the implied or direct promist of coverage. This is often a result of Agency selection processes that resemble beauty paradaes. Here the Agency is forced to sell agressively and often sets a bar which they then struggle to get over. This goes back to 6 & 7, in part. PR Works where there has been an effort to look for the right things in a relationship.