It stands to reason that if you want to hire a PR firm, it would be smart to hire a specialized firm to better accomplish specific tasks. Think again; while hiring a public relations agency is usually a great idea for your business – especially if you are launching a product or have a new announcement.
However, if your choice is to hire a specialized firm or a general firm, your best option is to pick the general public relations agency. Here is why you do not want to hire PR specialists.
1) They Likely Work With Your Competitors:
If your organization decided to seek out a specialized firm, the odds are good that a competitor of the same size also did the same thing. Aside from potential ethical problems from representing two similar clients, how can you expect to stand out? The agency hired by your competitor will employ the same ideas and tactics to both of you, even if they are not trying to.
2) Media Bombardment:
Even the best public relations firms have a regular set of journalists they reach out to. A specialized firm, also employed by your competitor, will be distributing materials for both your company and your competitor. This will overwhelm industry journalists and reporters, who could overlook your story in favor for your competitor.
The best public relations agency will have a national reach, and will not be limited to a specific pool of industry or journalism contacts.
3) Lack Diverse Experience
For the same reason the public relations agency is specialized, it follows that they have a much more narrow experience and knowledge base. A firm that is spectacular at media saturation might be lacking during a crisis situation, taking much longer to adequately respond for your company.
A PR firm should have a broad knowledge base and experience with many industries in order to handle any situation. Being able to adjust and adapt to fast-moving circumstances is an invaluable benefit to your company; a benefit you don’t want to suddenly miss in a tight spot.
4) Lack of National Media Attention
Your company may only work in music, or agriculture, or sports apparel, or social media. A public relations firm that specializes in your industry is likely to only have industry contacts. In the event your company hits the national spotlight, you will need the best public relations agency possible that has national media contacts.
Selecting a specialized firm is a tempting idea, but it is fraught with pitfalls. Selecting a generalized firm will bring with it a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge. The ability of a PR firm who can readjust and adapt to new developments will be one of the greatest assets to your organization.