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FAQS


How does public relations differ from other marketing avenues?

How do I know if PR is what my brand needs?

Do PR consultants write media articles?

How much does PR cost?

How long does a public relations campaign take?

What results can I expect from a PR campaign? Are there any guarantees?

How are the results of a campaign measured?

Do I really need a PR agency? Can’t I carry out the PR myself?

Is media the best public relations avenue?

How does public relations differ from other marketing avenues?
The most frequently used marketing promotional methods are PR and advertising. Advertising is paid, non-personal communication specifically geared to drive sales. Digital, TV, radio, outdoor and cinema advertising are some common forms. PR generates news within media and social media – at no cost to the brand. PR also engages audiences through events and promotions, and improves brand reputation through stakeholder communication, crisis management, and corporate relations.

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How do I know if PR is what my brand needs?
There are a number of ways of communicating. Each method reinforces the other. Advertising is useful when you need to control your message, generate brand recognition and a corporate identity. PR is about two-way communication with audiences, and gives your message credibility. There are some things that you can advertise but which you can’t publicise. To obtain media results in PR, your message needs to have news value, you need to work to the media’s agenda, and understand that your message can’t be controlled. PR is also more cost-effective, simply because you are not buying media space.

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Do PR consultants write media articles?
While PR consultants need to be skilled writers, they do not write your story in the news. Instead, they write ‘pitch’ story ideas (commonly in the form of media releases) that that are newsworthy, relevant and incisive. These are submitted to journalists for consideration. It is up to the editor to decide whether the story is newsworthy and relevant to their publication. If so, the journalist writes the story themselves.

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How much does PR cost?
Most PR agencies have hourly rates for various levels of consultancy. Many work out the cost of your campaign by estimating the time required to carry out the agreed work. Other expenses such as venue hire and catering for events are additional and agreed upon before the PR begins. For those seeking ongoing PR, a fixed monthly fee is the most common arrangement. The monthly retainer amount is decided by the client and PR agency together, and is usually based on the level of activities or hours required each month.

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How long does a public relations campaign take?
Each public relations campaign is different, but three months is usually the minimum time The Ideas Suite requires to deliver a well-rounded campaign with a great level of results, particularly when the PR is largely media coverage.

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What results can I expect from a PR campaign? Are there any guarantees?
In advertising, as space is paid for by the client, it is guaranteed. A PR agency generally can’t guarantee its client will be featured in a particular media outlet, or on a particular date. As editorial space is ‘free’, it’s the media who decide whether it will run and when. The level of media coverage also depends on the newsworthiness of your message, as well as your PR budget (which determines our PR hours). At The Ideas Suite, we use our experience from previous campaigns to give you a guide as to how much media our campaign will generate for your brand.

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How are the results of a campaign measured?
We set communication targets with you at the start, and measure these at regular intervals. Having said that, media clippings, audiences at events, and/or social media coverage are the most common method. For large campaigns, ‘campaign awareness’ surveys are also used to measure increases in awareness.

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Do I really need a PR agency? Can’t I carry out the PR myself?
You could, but many companies who do eventually approach a PR agency because they don’t have time to sustain it, and don’t have the expertise or resources to drive their brand beyond traditional media avenues. PR agencies get results because they can design effective strategies to meet your business aims; channel your message to markets that will have the greatest effect on your bottom line; communicate systematically; they have up-to-date media contacts Australia-wide; and they are skilled at language and writing for different targets.

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Is media the best public relations avenue?
Not for every organisation – and it’s certainly not the only avenue. Social media, branding at events via sponsorship or speaking, and direct marketing are all effective, depending on the brand. The Ideas Suite’s campaigns utilise a mix of channels to maximise results for each campaign.

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