Blog

Offline work gets online results

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07/08/2015

Our online PR agency is designed to help you reap the rewards PR can offer at a fraction of the cost of a traditional retained agency. We often step into assist freelance PR consultants and small agencies when they are up against a tight deadline and towering workload.

A common factor in whoever we assist, is that they have done their homework before they send their brief to us. Companies that begin on the DIY PR road often make the mistake of not setting their objectives from the outset. This causes problems in terms of clarity of content and confused messaging. And, importantly, how are you going to measure the success of your PR efforts if you don’t know what you were aiming for?

We want you to get the most out of our online PR agency. Whether it is press release writing, copywriting or blog content, we want it to be relevant and effective. That is why we advise you to work out what it is you want to get out of PR. For instance:

• Awareness: Profile building

• Supporting new business: promoting a new product or service

• Changing perceptions: Change the way you are seen by a particular group

Consider how you might measure these objectives. The immediate effect of our press release writing and distribution services is the media coverage. Part of our online PR service is an email notification service of coverage.

The overall outcome should be the longer term change you hope to bring about via your efforts, such as an increase in sales or a change in opinion.

So a bit of offline time to understand what you want and how you intend to measure actions will help you and PR Centre achieve online success.

 

Is social media necessary for my small business?

By

17/07/2015

Life is digital. Let’s face it, from the minute we wake to the time we go to sleep we are 100 per cent connected to the world. From emails, instant messaging, iPlayer streaming to news feeds, we can watch, chat and shop 24/7 – perfect for the insomniacs among us.

Equally, here at PR Centre we are offering an online social media service that can turnaround blogs and press releases in one day through our express PR agency service. We offer an affordable press release writing service with a professional PR edge. We can do this because we have the resources to monitor and respond.

Because of this new exciting new digital environment, some SMEs feel that social media is a must and they are pushed into doing it without thinking through the commitment in terms of time and resource needed to maintain a successful presence.

For a start not every social media platform will be relevant to your business. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest… this list will continue to grow but it does not mean you should be active on every platform. A review of where your customers are most active should be a key starting point in reviewing options. Crucially you must be honest in deciding if you have the time and budget to participate daily in social media activity. When resource, budget and time are limited, as is often the case with SMEs, the advice would be to leave social media alone rather than damaging your brand by doing it badly. Inactive Twitter accounts and Facebook pages without any updates for months suggest a thoughtless business or at worst, one that has closed down. Perception is everything.

Blog sections of websites like this on PR Centre are a good alternative to a social media platform because it still allows you to reach out to your audience with relevant content, providing the ability for them to respond through comments and resharing through their own social sites. It’s another example of DIY PR and one we can help you to get off the ground. Whether it is copywriting or preparing the blog, we can turn this round quickly through our online PR service and send it to you to directly upload to your website.

PR Centre is an online PR agency designed to help you promote yourself by yourself. You may be a small business, but we can help you think big.

What makes PR Centre different from a PR agency, PR consultant or online copy shop?

By

03/06/2015

PR Centre has created a niche in the UK for outsourced PR. There are several things we do that makes us different – and helps us fill the gap between a PR agency and PR consultant, without treading on their toes.

 PR Centre v the traditional PR agency

In one way we ‘compete’ against traditional PR agencies because we have a far lower price point. But the audience for a PR agency is very different. Businesses that engage PR agencies tend to do so on a retainer. The PR agency will handle their public relations and crisis communications needs based on a number of hours or days retained per month.

Typical customers for PR agencies are medium-sized or large businesses that have marketing teams, or need to outsource their whole marketing and PR output to one agency. Typically you can pay a PR agency anywhere from £500 to £1500 a day in the UK – but expect a retainer of 2 to 8 days per month.

Our customers ‘retain’ PR Centre because we’re always there online with a guaranteed turnaround time for their press releases (or blogs and web copy). If there are crisis communications to handle we can respond quickly using our express service. We can also then distribute releases quickly and accurately, wherever they need to go. Even to a named contact level.

So, we can output what PR agencies do, but we don’t provide the additional services such as creating ideas, liaising daily, strategising, event management… If you need this, then look at a PR agency such as The Oxygen Agency (our sister business).

 

PR Centre v the PR consultant

PR Centre can provide much of the output you’d expect from a PR consultant, but we do not provide the hand-holding service that they can offer.

PR consultants typically have experience in specific market sectors, with the insight and knowledge your company may need in that area. It’s not uncommon to find a travel specialist or retail specialist PR consultant. They would often be slightly cheaper than a PR agency, which has multiple staff to work on your account. So they may be more suitable for the lower to mid SME client.

PR consultants often don’t have the budget to handle significant press release distribution, and PR Centre has many PR consultants who use our distribution services as an addition to their service portfolio. Some even use PR Centre as an outsource for press release writing when they are busy or on a deadline.

Depending on the PR consultant, expect to pay £300 to £1000 a day for their PR services.

 

PR Centre v online copy shops

There has been a huge increase in the number of websites offering press release writing and copywriting, and they market themselves heavily. PR Centre has come across several of these – and while we can’t say they are all poor, our customers have shown us samples of very low quality work at bargain prices. We’ve seen rates as low as 10 US dollars for a press release. It’s no wonder some customers come to us to re-do their work.

While these companies ‘compete’ with PR Centre, we do not want to compete against such a service. Why? Quality is important to us. We’re accredited to ISO9001 which is the international quality standard, so you can expect a quality press release when we send you a draft. We nearly always get it right first time.

Often these copy shops will be based overseas, and their writers will not be native English speakers – even when their website or address is in the UK or USA. This poses the risk of grammar errors, factual errors, duplicated copy or a release that is not suitable for its target press audience. At PR Centre we draft well-targeted, original copy. You will have no risk of duplicate content by Google when it comes to SEO. We also know that editors and journalists don’t suffer fools gladly – and they’ll reject a badly written press release.

All of our writers work in-house at our Devon offices and, as you may expect, are expert in our trade

In summary, if you don’t have the budget for a PR agency or PR consultant, and don’t require the level of hand-hold that they provide, PR Centre may be the perfect long-term solution.