Frequently asked questions: Answers to common questions we receive
Q: What is public relations?
At its core, PR is about building trust and often includes creating a strong brand and great reputation to allow you to build relationships with the public (or many publics). For your company, those relationships might be with the general public; consumers – potential customers and clients; investors; employees; government officials, agencies and regulators; and the media. Your relationship with any of those audiences may or may not be mutually beneficial at any given time. Great PR creates mutually beneficial relationships and incites change. Great PR can help you change behaviors and opinions in your favor.
Q: What is media relations?
Media relations is such an important and well-known component of public relations that people often mistakenly believe they’re one in the same. Axia’s media relations professionals work with members of the media to publicize companies and their products through earned media coverage. Earned media coverage happens when the news features your company, brand, product, service or spokesperson. Unlike advertising, which sponsors the news, PR uses earned media coverage to integrate you into the news content, not leave you a separate entity from that content. Earned media coverage appears in print, broadcast and online media. Axia can show you how to maximize your media relations efforts.
Q: Why should I use PR instead of advertising?
No one tunes into the news to see who’s advertising; people switch to news channels and visit news websites because that’s how they ensure they’re informed, educated and entertained. Do you regularly turn to any website, TV show, newspaper or magazine for the advertisements? Studies show that people are far more likely to believe a news story than an advertisement, and the ROI on public relations leaves advertising’s ROI in the dust. People have trained themselves to ignore advertising. For less cost than advertising, PR creates a more credible message.
Learn more about the differences between PR and advertising on Axia’s blog. For a quick rundown, check out the five ways PR is better than advertising.
Q: Do PR firms also do reputation management?
When it comes to online reputation management, content is king, and good public relations firms are the kings of positive content about your organization. Download a complimentary copy of our e-book explaining why you should choose Axia Public Relations for your reputation management program.
Q: What does the term “agency of record” mean?
This term typically means that a company has entered into an agreement with a public relations firm, giving the firm exclusive rights to represent the company on all PR matters across its business or service lines. Alternatively, it may also denote a relationship in which a company contracts several PR agencies and retains the majority of work for one. This broader interpretation is really more of a “preferred agency” relationship rather than a true AOR. There are varying reasons why an AOR status may be beneficial to both client and agency, such as an increased understanding of business goals. Most agree that there are few – if any – negative consequences of attaining such a committed relationship.
Read more about agency of record on our blog.
Q: What’s the difference between the AP news wire and services like PR Newswire, Business Wire and PR Web?
PR news wires contain news releases from PR people and companies that pay a fee to post their company news. There are several companies that provide these services (PR Newswire, Business Wire, PRWeb and others). Each has its own unique features and benefits. Axia receives volume pricing from these paid news wire services, and we extend discounted rates to our clients. For example, a $2,000 news wire package may cost $400-800 for an Axia client, depending on current volume and promotional offerings.
The Associated Press news wire contains stories published exclusively by AP correspondents and newspapers that subscribe to the AP service. Companies are unable to pay to have their news placed there. Editors select the content they post to the AP wire based on its overall news value. Other options for major news wires include Reuters and Dow Jones. Axia has relationships with these unpaid news wires and actively pitches our clients’ best stories to our contacts within these organizations.
Visit Axia’s blog to familiarize yourself with what a news wire is and how it can benefit your organization.
Q: Should I hire a PR firm or do it myself?
It takes time to develop and execute an effective PR campaign. Weigh the value of the time you’ll spend on PR against what you could accomplish in the same time if you focused your efforts on your expertise: your company. Axia Public Relations generates earned media coverage for our clients full time. We know the ins and outs of pitching stories, writing and distributing news releases, scheduling speaking engagements and developing contact lists and relationships with the media. Make sure you consider these key points before you decide to handle your public relations in-house.
Q: How do I choose a PR firm?
Hiring a public relations firm is like old-fashioned courting. Spend time researching the best public relations firms for your industry. Look for firms with clients of the same or higher caliber than your company. Check out the PR firms that manage the campaigns of your clients or prospective clients. Remember that public relations is all about the relationships, so choose a relationship that will lead you forward – through the door of your next client. Axia Public Relations details the six key steps to hiring the right PR firm on our blog.
Q: Do I need a PR firm that specializes in my industry?
No. There are many reasons not to hire an industry-specific PR firm, including the inherent conflict of interest that comes with representing companies that compete with each other. Specialized firms are often stale and only reuse the same ideas and tactics over and over again. Creativity is transferable between industries; it’s more important to get ideas across industries than within an industry. Our experience shows that we can be successful in any industry. Our diverse industry experience trumps narrow, niche experience and allows us to avoid conflicts of interest. Our client diversity helps us see trends and think objectively and horizontally, bringing innovation from one industry to another. Download a copy of our guide on maximizing your PR ROI to learn more about hiring the right PR firm for your needs.
Q: How do I fire my current PR firm?
Your relationship with your public relations firm is critical to your success; a bad relationship with your PR firm can directly impact your sales and earnings. Axia explains the right way to part ways on our blog and in our complimentary e-book How to Fire Your PR Firm.
Q: How much does public relations cost?
Investing in professional public relations is a lot like buying a new car. With so many different models and options available, the costs vary considerably. Monthly public relations campaigns with our firm start at $2,000 for small business campaigns, $5,000 for local and single-audience PR solutions and $10,000-$30,000 for far-reaching comprehensive national programs. Visit our blog to learn more about how much PR costs and download our complimentary e-book detailing key PR investment guidelines.
Q: How long is the contract Axia requires?
We offer our services on an annual basis. Some clients prefer and negotiate three-year deals with us.
PR is a long-term endeavor. We’ve put together a detailed explanation of how a PR contract can be beneficial to your company.
Q: Does Axia Public Relations guarantee results?
No. There are many business, economic and third-party factors outside of any public relations professional’s or firm’s control, including product, service, price, demand, market, quality, competition, consumer behavior and preferences, media bias and major events. Therefore, Axia Public Relations offers no guarantees, warranties or refunds on its services. Any individual or organization offering you a guarantee may be in violation of the Public Relations Society of America’s code of ethics, which highly discourages such behavior. Clients will often engage in a base-plus-bonus compensation model with our firm to encourage us to reach specific measureable results. We find that these relationships work very well and we are eager to discuss such an arrangement with you.
Take a moment to look over our portfolio of work and be sure to check out case studies from our current and past clients.
Q: Why choose Axia Public Relations?
Because our clients love us. According to a survey, 9 out of 10 Axia clients are either “highly likely” or “extremely likely” to refer us to their colleagues and friends. Curious why? Check out the top 10 reasons our clients love us.
Q: Will I be buying articles, advertising or space?
No. We’ll work to acquire earned media placement of stories about your company. With earned media, unlike advertising, companies don’t pay for placement of news stories. One of the key advantages of public relations over other marketing channels is that earned media helps establish credibility for a company and its products or services. While PR is not instant or overnight, it’s a powerful way to build your company’s brand and reputation.
“You’d better get yourself a PR partner! PR is not always as visible, and not overnight, but it helps subtly and significantly over time.” – Tony Mikes, advertising industry consultant.
Never underestimate PR’s ability to go viral without buying space or ads.
Q: Do you write news releases?
Axia maintains a staff of former journalists and professional writers who craft effective, professional news releases for our clients. We also edit and polish news releases for clients who prefer to write their own releases. Press releases are a huge part of your outreach efforts, so make sure you trust the right people to handle them.
We have a blog post that details what we consider a well-made news release.
Q: Do you outsource your writing?
Our staff of former journalists and professional writers produces most of the writing we use to promote our clients. We also occasionally call on several accomplished writers for special projects or exceptionally heavy workloads. We use our own highly trained writers because they understand the importance of a well-crafted press release.