Running a Public Relations Firm
The debate rages on. Just what is a public relations firm? Over the years technology and our economy have caused the definition to change. In many ways, when I think of the words public relations, the word Catholic or universal comes to mind.
In essence the public relations firm is one that deals with our relationships with all of our publics. That means our customers. Our employees. Our communities. Our world.
We create messages for audiences and determine the best ways to reach that audience. Is it advertising? Social media? Videos? Media relations?
Yes, we used to have advertising agencies, public relations firms, and specialty shops. We even had agencies of record. Now we provide the best we have to our clients. Timing, messaging, quality and cost are critical. Now that we have an understanding of what a public relations firm does—just about everything in terms of communications—then how do you staff?
In the military, I was always impressed with our Special Forces. These were teams of soldiers with more than one refined skill. They are linguists, mechanics, snipers, medics, demolition experts. They are people who accomplish their mission. In fact, in the military we learned the value of being resourceful even when we weren’t green berets. So many of us were crossed-trained to do more than our primary military specialty. That’s how I see the public relations firm of today.
We have social media people who are great account executives. Crisis specialists who know advertising. Video producers who know how to write. Engineers who can create speeches. Art directors with audio engineering expertise. Research executives who can handle direct marketing. Wow. Our guys are talented.
Survival in the business world today requires that we have many skills, stay up to date on trends, and work hard to stay ahead of the pack. We want to do all of this while we are having a good time helping our clients succeed.
(FLASH) That is my snapshot of running a PR firm today. It’s providing the right climate for great, talented people—so they can do great things for great clients!
— Ed Stevens, APR
President, Stevens Strategic Communications