There’s an old adage about pediatricians whose kids have sore throats and cobblers whose kids go barefoot. These are extreme examples of lack of attention – but in the PR industry, many of us follow suit when it comes to treating our own agency as a client. We publicize and land big stories for our clients, but when it comes to our own work – not so much.
Is your agency guilty when it comes to self-promotion (or lack thereof)? We were, too – but then, we got into gear.
This year, we began to ramp up Litzky PR’s own publicity efforts as a way to give team members a chance to learn new skills and shine among peers. The “LPR PR” team of volunteers took us from zero to 100 in nine short months, giving us the chance to “strut our stuff” in front of potential clients and prospective employees.
Here are a few steps to help you get started on your agency’s publicity efforts, too.
1. Define How Your Outreach Efforts Will Support Business Goals
Just like client work, you can’t “hit go” on planning until you know what moves the needle for the larger team. For us, we didn’t expect new clients to come knocking at our door but we did want to make it easier for prospects to learn more about our expertise. As a result, we prioritized efforts to seed information about who we are as an agency, illustrating our unique “team-first” culture and our smart strategies that drive results.
2. Submit for Industry Awards
Award submissions are a lot of work. They require retroactive thinking, research, material collection and clever writing – not to mention hours of editing to fit within word counts. Each award submission is different, which again, makes it time consuming, but believe me when I say nothing is more rewarding than watching industry peers recognize your employees as the rock stars they are!
We’ve had much success this year with award submissions (including PR Couture’s own Bespoke Awards – make sure you’re on the list to be first to hear about 2018 award opportunities), and it’s something we’ll absolutely be continuing in the New Year.
If it’s your first time preparing awards, check out PRSA’s Silver Anvil Award case studies for thought starters and tips.
3. Contribute Your Expertise to Online PR Sites
One of the parts of LPR PR I’ve been most excited about is writing for this very site! We have “bylined articles” as an entire area of focus within LPR PR, giving employees the chance to pitch something new and different – us!
The “byline lead” secured us this regular column in PR Couture, as well as writing opportunities for myself as well as other employees across the industry on digital publications including PRSA Tactics and PRSay.
Quick tip: It doesn’t always have to be a high-level executive who does the writing. We like to give junior employees the chance to craft their own bylined articles based on their areas of interest.
4. Pitch your agency’s differentiators
For us, culture is everything. So when our LPR PR “media relations lead” told me we’d been featured as one of Entrepreneur’s “9 Companies that Offer Cool and Enticing Benefits,” I nearly fell off my chair! Of course, I know we offer these great benefits, but to know my employees feel so strongly they pitch these stories – well, that’s the best reward I could ask for!
Our LPR PR team pitches our culture regularly, highlighting unique benefits and our employee retention – not to mention fun perks like a dog-friendly office. While dozens of offices offer these perks, few take the time to publicize them, which is yet another reason agency publicity is smart!
5. Review and regroup regularly
Just like client plans, some things will work, some won’t. Make sure you regroup with your own internal PR team regularly to check in on where things stand, and where work should shift when tactics aren’t succeeding. It’s especially important to regroup at the end of the year to get a full snapshot of how tactics fared and how you can become more efficient – and more successful – in the New Year.
Pitching your agency may feel awkward at first – your time should be spent on clients, right? – but it’s actually incredibly gratifying and strategic. No one will know how great your team is unless you tell them, so empower your employees to go out there and spread the word!