PR-compatible is not a salesman – cz.AND. What is the work of the province? We talk to Helena Korniejew, Karolina Gadzimska and Kamila Cichocka
Who is PR and what is his main task? This question is asked to representatives of my industry almost every day. This is not only a subjective opinion, but a phenomenon that is also reflected in the latest research. In September last year, the Association of Public Relations Companies together with the Institute of Media Monitoring, the Analytical and Research Company Zymemetry, as well as representatives of the member agencies, prepared a report, which shows that 83.96% from the group of 187 employees of the agency explained their loved ones from being -welc and explained what their work was about. The fact is that the profession of a PR of a PRO combines many competences, but it seems that our surroundings are still insufficient, but also customers know the essence and nature of our work. I decided to check what the opinions of PR professionals are on this subject, but also journalists themselves.
In the same report, the Vice President of the Board of the Association of Public Relations and the President of the 38 Content Communication Agency, Katarzyna Życińska draws a description of the profession of public relations as “this related to a good reputation“. It further defines – “PR is relationships. PR is the construction of an image. PR is honesty and ethics, behind which are thousands of people working in the industry-both in large and smaller agencies, in corporations, companies, sole proprietorships, or non-profit organizations and institutions. We can say loudly that we are reliable people ethically performing their tasks.”(…)
This good reputation is created in close cooperation with journalists. It is them, we PR-owners tell the stories of brands that we represent and draw topics that are centered around “our” brands. Our daily work is numerous e -mails, telephones, meetings and conversations through messengers, which we use to inspire, publicize or pay attention to interesting issues. They are also often used for extinguishing media fires or creating company statements. Thanks to this, we build brand recognition and their market advantage. This recognition can of course be measured, preferably taking into account a number of factors such as: the number of publications, publication quality, publication range, type of material (e.g. Interview, review, list, editorial test), advertising equivalent or other important elements that the brand wants to monitor. Thanks to this, the client is regularly informed about the progress of our work.
As for the client himself, at the very beginning of the cooperation he should be honestly and honestly informed when he can expect the results and at what level. The assumed scenario should include the budget we will have and tool selection. Just like our surroundings, we tell that PR is the communication of brands and companies, which often results in publications in the press, television or portals, so customers should receive clear information that PR, be it brands or a public figure, is a long -term process. Sometimes I myself in conversations preceding the start of PR, compares this process to the marathon only for experts with good condition, determined and persistent, which will not be discouraged by even less interest in the brand. Before starting cooperation, if I see such a need, he always specifies how PR differs from advertising, promotion or marketing, so that the customer has the correct image of my daily work, which uses both brand journalism and content marketing, up to SEO, classic media relations and cooperation with influencers. Precise reporting is also crucial in this situation.
I decided to confront my own experiences with the opinion of priests of PR people to see if they meet with understanding their profession from the environment, and to ask them a few questions about their profession.
The expert who was the first to share her knowledge and experience with us is Helena Korniejew. Helena has been associated with the PR industry since 2010. Currently, as Strategic Director, he is responsible for managing the Big Picture agency, as well as its development directions, team construction and advice for key clients. She gained her experience working for the greatest global brands, M.in. such as Vodka Absolut, Coca-Cola, Martini, Reebok, L’Oreal Paris. The second expert with many years of experience is Karolina Gadzimska, which in the years 2012-2016 dealt with the development and implementation of the international development strategy of the La Mania fashion brand. She also worked on the image of other Polish brands, i.e. Malt&What., L37 (formerly Loft37) and La Marqueuse. The last 3 years conducts marketing and PR of the FEMI Stories. She shared a little other observations with us Kamila Cichocka, which gained experience as a PR-compartment on the side of the SPOCK PR agency (currently Human Signs) and currently runs the ISSUE27 lifestyle portal.PL and your own agency Issue Dot. Girls’ answers can be a valuable dose of knowledge, as our profession is actually perceived, and for beginner PR with a valuable dose of knowledge about our work. Here’s what my interlocutors said:
Do you often explain to your surroundings and customers what your work is?
Helena: Yes, it happens. But it seems to me that this is more due to changing market conditions than the ignorance of the questioners. Comparing the work of a PR-theater today, and 10 years ago, we can say that they are completely different worlds. The area of our activities is constantly expanding, you still need to acquire new competences. Importantly, it never happened to me that someone in my presence negatively spoke about the profession of PR. Customers also reach for the help of PR experts with more and more awareness, and not on the principle – we have no budgets for advertising, we will deal with PR.
Carolina: Yes definitely. Customers do not fully distinguish the role of PR from the role of an expert DS. marketing. Due to the lack of this understanding, they expect completely different effects, not those that are related directly to the duties of a PR specialist. Today, however, most of the positions in this area connect marketing & PR, because at the end of the day the effects that affect sales count. Personally, I have always been a priest and marketing expert, but in time I focused on one area, which directly affects both the company’s results and its image-and this area for me is marketing.
Kamila: Very often. This situation often happens in the case of “small” customers and crawling brands on the market, which do not always understand how important a coherent way of communication and image are.
How much time in your opinion, you should wait for the effects of PR work?
Helena: It all depends. The question that we like in Big Picture and which may seem too simplification, but in fact often confronts the client with his own expectations and ideas about the effects, is “what is your dream publication in the media?”. And here the stairs often begin, because during the brainstorming various issues come to light – either we have too many messages, or we don’t know what we really want to say about ourselves, etc. Our task is to determine such a strategy that each party knows what effect and at what time it works. This allows you to conduct a satisfactory cooperation.
Carolina: Of course, it is a long time to wait for them if we approach PR strategically and this is often the biggest problem for the client. PR aims to strengthen the image of the brand, reach a specific target group, establish dialogue with this group, arouse commitment and, above all, match all the elements of the puzzle that build the final image and which de facto there are many. Only then does sales begin, which will be satisfactory for the customer.
Kamila: I think such an optimal time is a few months. Of course, the effects can be seen relatively quickly, but it all depends on the specificity of the industry, the promoted product and whether it falls into a large trend, for example. I mean here m.in. A boom for Korean care or the style of French/Parisians, i.e. motives that have been attracting attention for a long time, and products associated with them are willingly tested by editorial offices and recommended for readers.
Can the client blames the PR-man about the lack of immediate results?
Helena: The question is what it means an immediate effect. There are campaigns where, for example,. We have a valid news and then a well -set strategy allows you to “flood the network” with this news in a few hours – our message breaks on the main pages, is quoted highly. More often, however, it happens that our goal is to change the brand image or new positioning of a person, and then it must be assumed in advance that the effects need time for the effects. In Big Picture, however, we understand that the customer wants to see what he “bought” and there is nothing wrong with it. It motivates to work, wings the team on the client’s side and gives energy to the PR-OWC. Probably nobody likes to work without seeing the results. That is why we like to provide so -called. Quick Wins.
Carolina: I think that when the client is aware of the work of the PR work from the work of a marketer, he knows what effects he can expect. Of course, he often begins to realize that it takes a long time and begins to change the strategy. I have met it more than once, especially on the Polish market. Due to such situations, I always emphasize what results the client can expect strictly from PR activities VS. from strictly marketing activities and at what time.
Kamila: He should not. If the client wants the results immediately, he must be aware of the additional costs that are associated with this. I mean sponsored publications or ads. Extraction of the relationship between Marek-Dziennikrz/Editor. As for the cosmetics industry, with which I have the greatest contact with, you have to take into account the fact that the journalist must get to know the product, test it to gain trust and convince himself of declared properties and want to recommend it to his readers. When starting cooperation with the brand. Thanks to this, both sides will avoid disappointments and stress.
Whether the work of a PR of a PR product translates into the sale of the product?
Helena: PR is always to serve business. I believe in this assumption very much, which of course does not mean that PR indicators can be translated 1: 1 to sales bars.
For most of my professional life I worked for large, global brands, where PR was part of the whole system. Then the sales success resulted from the entire puzzle. However, when I support the PR of my parents, who created their own brand of vinegar vinegar, then, on a micro scale, I can see in real time, e.g. Number of products sold after interview broadcast or material in reach medium. It’s always an interesting experience for me.
Carolina: I believe that every action, even “soft” must translate into the sale of the product. In the case of PR, this sale does not necessarily take place immediately, but it should finally be one of the main goals.
Kamila: In a sense, yes. However, it should be remembered that the PR person is not an expert on the sale of the product. Its task is to take care of the image of a brand or product. Customers often confuse these two functions. I have often encountered the question “how many clients will bring me” for some activities. It should be remembered that in PR, it focuses on a long -term effect, and building a specific image in the eyes of recipients takes some time. Here you need a good plan, consistency, make friends with opinion leaders and selecting people. However, in the case of influencers, such people who understand the brand’s philosophy and what they show their observers is consistent with it. Such a process, of course, binds to some financial and temporary investment.
How to measure PR work?
Helena: There are many indicators that PR-owners operate, but this is still quite a controversial topic-simple algorithms do not always manage to determine e.g. The actual value of the publication. However, I think that such challenges must not be afraid, and the fact that most of the effects of our work appears in the Digital space today gives increasing opportunities to examine the weight of the publication. However, I would consider too much attachment to quantitative or range indicators – not always the number of publications indicates the success of the campaign. Moreover, in the case of crisis communication, the measure of our success is the lack of any references.
Carolina: The work of a PR, can be measured in many ways. Once, PR was treated very “softly”, but when he gained marketing and specialists began to add these competences to PR activities, the method of settling them from work also changed. Each action is measurable – one more less, but we already have a number of tools that allow us to do so. Besides, there is no sense for PR or the client for PRO, whose effects cannot be measured. Are these publications in the press, online titles, or cooperation with influencers and celebrities, or direct dialogue with the client, we are able to check carefully whether they translate into sale, whether they reach our target group, whether they are consistent with the brand strategy assumed.
Kamila: It depends primarily on what goals we have set at the strategy planning stage. From the perspective of a few years of work on various projects, I can say that there is no one universal way of such measurement. However, if I had to indicate the one that from my perspective is the most important for customers, then the effects collected in media monitoring, i.e. the number of publications and their Ave value.
Statements of experts dealing with building relationships with the media show that PR-owners must constantly inform clients about the scope of their work. That is why open communication with the client becomes crucial here and agreeing on the real action plan to be implemented. Our task should be to constantly emphasize what the daily work of PR is and what results can be expected from us, while clearly indicating that the desired effects require time. Customers, when deciding on our services, must be aware of the long -term process of developing them. If their impatience or assumed strategy mean that they are not able to wait for satisfactory results, they should take into account the budget that should be invested.
In the next part of the text I will ask journalists about their perception of the industry and the receipt of press materials sent by the provinces. I invite you soon.
Author: Justyna Majka – Has over 6 years of experience in public relations. She looked after brands such as Many Mornings, Foreo Sweden, Weleda, Catrice, Essence and Deborah Milano, as well as one of the Warsaw clinics of aesthetic medicine and dentistry. Earlier she gained experience as editor of the fashion department on Fashion Post.