Whether it’s calls to our Sydney HQ asking what public relations is, or family and friends on the weekend asking what our job involves, it’s clear that many people are still very much in the dark about what Public Relations or “PR” actually is.

This is particularly interesting because recent data shows that up to 80% of news content about companies, products, the government, and people, is generated by PR consultants or agencies.

This means that a huge majority of what you hear on the television or radio, or read online or in a magazine or newspaper, came to life because of people like myself and my colleagues.

And PR is no longer just about traditional media, most public relations agencies have evolved and now lead or at least contribute to a brands wider marketing, communications, influencer marketing, and content creation strategy as well.

So, to help both individuals and brands alike, we wanted to clearly define what it is that we in the PR industry do.

The definition from Forbes is ‘Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their publics’, which essentially means that brands hire PR agencies to share information about the company so that their target public is aware of new products, events, hires, or anything they feel will be of interest to this audience.

At Agent99, we believe PR Practitioners (or Agents as we like to call ourselves) are also storytellers. Every pitch relies on us knowing exactly what to say, how to say it, and the specific right time to do so. Daily, we as a team, strategize about various creative ways that will help make our clients and their stories stand out to media. If this isn’t done, the chance that they will take interest and help a brand promote their products or services is slim to none unfortunately.  

It may sound quite straightforward, but with more and more companies (both in the B2B and B2C space) realising that exposure secured by public relations not only raises brand awareness, but also influences people’s decisions, improves sentiment, drives sales, and ultimately lifts the organisation’s bottom line, it’s tough to secure quality earned media pieces that have genuine business impact unless you’re an expert!

In fact, the Executive Producer of Sunrise once told the Agent99 team that he received over 1,000 pitches every day, and only opens emails from contacts he knows and trusts from previous encounters.

With so many brands vying for the same spots on television, radio, newspapers, online publications and social media, agencies that have good reputations for delivering strong content, and have solid relationships with a wide range of journalists will prevail for their clients every time.

The days of simply writing a press release, calling a journalist, and seeing a piece of coverage run are long gone, but unfortunately many people think that’s still the way.

Instead, there has been a huge shift in what it takes to secure media articles (largely in part to the journalists being inundated with information due to more and more brands pitching to them) and it has become a much more complex and creative process.

It’s definitely not an easy task, but it is one that keeps us thinking, makes us think outside-the-box, and ensures we are passionate about what we do.

When I think of other terms associated with public relations, and what Agent99 does, a few other key things come to mind:

  • Being a master at effectively communicating – understanding this is about taking and listening – to media contacts, brand representatives, stakeholders, investors, and other key parties.  
  • Understanding the importance of target audiences, and knowing how to create meaningful conversations that are relevant to that exact group of people.
  • Managing issues quickly and efficiently if a crisis arises, to ensure you mitigate any potential damage to your client’s brand as quickly as possible.
  • Adapting – if Covid-19 taught us anything it’s that PR practitioners are more than traditional publicists – we are communicators, content creators, and so many titles that add value to clients and journalists alike.

So next time you read an article, or scroll through your favourite blog or social feed, ask yourself where the writer got their information about that nifty new gadget. There is a small chance they found out about the product and researched it themselves, but there’s a far greater chance that it came from someone just like me.

If you’re interested in hearing more about what PR is and how it could help your brand, get in touch at nicole@agent99pr.com!

Agent Nic