For several years now, CooperKatz & Company has been a proud member of the Public Relations Global Network (or PRGN), one of the world’s largest international public relations networks with more than 50 independent member firms. While there are numerous benefits to our membership, we always particularly enjoy joining other PRGN agency leaders and owners in major cities around the world at our twice annual member meetings.
Our latest gathering was held in late April in Washington, DC – a timely spot given the election cycle (and yes, all of the non-American agencies were quite interested in the possible outcome of our forthcoming Presidential election!).
These meetings are always great venues for knowledge sharing and insights. It’s a time for talking, connecting and digging deep into best practices. Below is a summary of some of the key takeaways from our discussions. And shout out to Jim Bianchi, President of PRGN member firm, Bianchi Public Relations, Inc. in Troy, MI, for the work in pulling the below insights together!
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to building business today.
Customers and clients increasingly are finding and vetting their business partners through online search. If you’re not doing SEO, you may never be found by the right people. PRGN agencies are helping their clients with SEO through quality content, paid / earned / social / owned campaigns and other approaches which leverage and balance “traditional” PR and digital channels.
Nothing will fix bad content.
Content is king. But content without the right strategy, context or audience is just clutter. The best content comes from knowing and addressing the specific wants and needs of your audience, thereby making your content “shareworthy,” and in knowing where to find and activate that audience, as it’s easier to find a community than to build a community. For maximum ROI on content, PRGN advises that communicators plan to spend as much time and effort promoting the content as you did creating it.
To be successful in the tsunami of online content, modern storytelling has to touch human emotions and incorporate powerful images.
And increasingly, those stories need to be formatted to be responsive and effective on any type of device screen – smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop – and amplified via traditional media, otherwise they risk being passed over.
The best PR firms continue to expand their service offering AND deepen their expertise in their key markets.
More PRGN agencies are combining traditional and emerging methods to meet the new environment. While they are strengthening their relationships with reporters and influencers, immersing themselves deeper into their communities and industry sectors, and embedding themselves in key events and issues, they are also adding new channels, tools and platforms (digital content, search engine optimization, social media marketing, video, photography, design, research and web) to be stronger business partners to their clients.
Technology can’t do it alone, but technology plus personal relationships is a powerful combination.
By leveraging technology and established personal relationships, PRGN agencies can offer clients a competitive advantage across the country and around the world, with “glocalization” – programs that are developed and implemented globally, but are tailored to fit local markets and cultures by local, in-country experts.
Trust is more important than ever.
In this age of massive product recalls, cheating scandals and record-level disdain for businesses, political candidates and institutions, trust is a scarce but key success factor. In fact, it’s the currency of good business. Being authentic – by demonstrating integrity, honesty and transparency – is the key to earning trust.
Agency owners need to get off the day-to-day business treadmill.
As entrepreneurs, PRGN agency owners are so focused on serving their clients’ needs that they often don’t take the time to reset their agency vision, identify new opportunities for their agency and their clients, or look at emerging trends and issues to find new ways to create value for their clients. Our semi-annual PRGN leadership conferences can encourage and act as a catalyst for this kind of vision-setting.
Great ideas can come from anywhere.
They can come from the other side of your own office to the other side of the globe. PRGN agencies have the ability to generate a world of great ideas to help their clients succeed, by seeking out and sharing diverse opinions and viewpoints across all demographic, geographic and cultural sectors.
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