Looking to grow business in new directions? Here's some advice from today's guest blogger, Brad Shorr.
PR Firms Can Find New Clients with Digital Agency Partnerships
The firm I work for is an Internet marketing agency. We specialize in things like search engine optimization and social media marketing. And, if you are a traditional PR firm, we are not the enemy. On the contrary – digital agencies need firms like yours, and need them badly. There are a lot of (ugh, I hate this word) synergies that make collaboration practical and profitable.
The reason we need you is because our clients do business in the real world. We primarily handle online work for niche B2Bs in industries like credit card processing for non-profits and quantitative respirator fit testing equipment. Yes, people look for and buy these services and products online, but the companies that sell them also …
- Attend trade shows and conventions
- Speak at local educational events
- Create news with new products and services
- Receive awards for community involvement and industry leadership
- Launch training programs and public service initiatives
All of these activities happen and affect people somewhere. Quite naturally, the companies behind them want more than an online press release and a new web page. They want things such as …
- Stories placed in local, regional, national, and or international newspapers
- Stories placed in leading industry trade journals
- Monitoring of print publications for mentions and interview opportunities
For these three services and many others we often seek out a PR firm that is familiar with the client’s industry, has connections to the print media, and is comfortable collaborating with another agency.
In addition, we sometimes need help in creating and shaping a story line for a local event or award that has been received. We’re frequently asked to help coach executives in working with the media. On more than a few occasions we have been asked to develop a crisis management plan. These are all services where we can use the expertise of a PR firm.
Having traveled in digital marketing circles for a while, I’m quite sure there are hundreds of agencies just in Chicago that are faced with the same challenge: We can create an email marketing campaign that will knock your socks off, but we can’t place a story in the local newspaper to save our lives.
As I said – we need you.
Some digital agencies position themselves as full-service marketing and PR firms; on the flip side, there are established PR firms that claim strong expertise in various online marketing disciplines.
If the claims are real, that’s great. But, if agencies make sweeping claims merely to block out competition, collaboration is a better way to go. No agency can be all things to all people, and clients are sophisticated enough to understand this. As a client, I’d much rather work with the right team regardless of company affiliation.
Identify the digital agencies in your market. Talk to them; find out if they have a need for PR services that compliment what they do well. You may be presently surprised at how many opportunities there are to win new clients and sell new services to your existing ones.