Top PR Challenges for Professional Service Firms
Industry consolidation, increasing client demands, more intense competition and diminishing loyalty of clients – these are just some of the obstacles professional service firms face daily. All of these factors make marketplace differentiation and reputational protection— two key benefits of a targeted public relations program – more important, and more difficult, than ever.
In the realm of PR, professional service firms face some unique challenges:
- They lack a steady stream of new products, per se, to gain marketplace attention.
- They often cannot share the inside story of how they helped a client due to confidentiality agreements.
- Journalists, bloggers and influencers to prefer to speak with clients who can offer concrete specifics, rather than consultants who may be forced to offer generic comments.
- Differentiation from peers can be elusive, as many professional service firms look and feel the same to outsiders.
Yet, in spite of these challenges, a hybrid of new and traditional public relations approaches can help a professional service firm to build awareness, visibility and credibility … to generate new business leads … to recruit the best talent … and to sell without selling.
Here are six approaches we recommend:
- Thought leadership – presenting a unique point of view or insight gained through proprietary research, surveys or experience to demonstrate your special expertise and understanding of the market, conveyed through white papers, blog posts, editorials, presentations, seminars and other means.
- Steady publicity – press releases, media advisories and news conferences on firm activities, hires, contracts, community involvement, etc., which not only generate news coverage and build awareness, but also help to build trust and raise online search engine visibility (SEO) for your firm.
- Content marketing/social media – reusing and repurposing speeches, research, news and thought leadership assets into engaging content for your target audience via your key social media platforms and blog to increase traffic to your website where they can learn more about your firm.
- Executive visibility – securing speaking engagements for your key executives and subject matter experts to gain validation and awareness, to generate additional media coverage opportunities, and enabling you to extend the reach and life of those presentations through digital and social channels.
- Proactive media relations – building media relationships with the right reporters and winning you top-tier media placements, the right media relations program can help position your people as experts, gain your firm the credibility of third-party validation of trusted news sources, and extend the reach and frequency of your messages.
- Media training – preparing your key executives and subject matter experts for interviews and interactions with media to maximize their effectiveness and comfort.
Ultimately, successful professional service firm public relations doesn’t cost, it pays. To start 2018 off putting the power of PR to work for your firm, contact Adriana VanDuyn.