Contributor, Benzinga
August 24, 2022

Business owners struggling to take their business to the next level may want to try a thoughtful public relations (PR) strategy. 

A PR company manages the reputation of your business while establishing relationships with your target audience, the community, media and other stakeholders. High-quality PR elevates your brand by sharing well-curated messages. These messages aim to improve how the public perceives your business. 

Selecting the right PR company to amplify your brand can be pretty daunting. You’ll need to choose a PR company that matches the needs of your business and has a strong track record.

The Best PR Companies

Let’s face it – getting favorable coverage from the media can be challenging for any business. That’s where a PR company can help. Because PR companies maintain relationships with the media, they can grow your brand’s visibility across many channels. Here are a few of the best PR companies:

Edelman

Noted clients: HP, Unilever, Samsung, KFC, Norvatis, Adobe, Microsoft Xbox, eBay, Starbucks, Shell and Johnson & Johnson

Services: 

  • Brand marketing and communication
  • Corporate reputation management
  • Crisis management
  • Media relations
  • Financial communication
  • Influencer marketing
  • Performance communication

Industry focus: Energy, defense, education, health, financial services, food and beverage, transport, retail, hospitality, consumer packaged goods, non-profit organizations, industrial equipment, technology, sports and entertainment, retail and telecommunications 

Ogilvy

Noted clients: Samsung, Shell, Coca-Cola, Dove, IBM, American Express, Pizza Hut, Barbie, Ford, Sears, Maxwell House, Turkish Airlines, IKEA and Rolls Royce

Services: 

  • Reputation protection
  • Brand influence
  • Media relations
  • Brand advocacy 

Industry focus: Government departments, sports & entertainment, media houses, social media companies, food and beverage, transportation, tours and travel, health, airlines, technology, communication 

Weber Shandwick

Noted clients: IBM, General Motors, Amazon, GMC, Mars, Chevrolet, AB InBev, ALDI, ExxonMobil and GlaxoSmithKline

Services: 

  • Influencer engagement
  • Media strategy
  • Social media strategy and management
  • Media relations
  • Reputation management

Industry focus: Financial services, food and beverage, health and wellness, government and public sector, manufacturing, tours and travel, retail, non-profit, energy, media, entertainment, and transport

Golin 

Noted clients: GlaxoSmithKline, McDonald’s, Lifebuoy, Mattel, Roche, Lexus, Pepsi, Porsche and Tiny Tickers

Services: 

  • Corporate and brand storytelling
  • Crisis management
  • Media relations
  • Public affairs management
  • Employee engagement
  • Social media management
  • Executive visibility
  • Media training
  • Influencer marketing
  • Digital strategy formulation

Industry focus: Food and beverage, industry and manufacturing, health and wellness and media

5W Public Relations

Noted clients: L’Oreal, iDEAL Semiconductor, Payless, Quince, GNC Holdings, Samsung SmartThings, Crayola, LifeStyles, Vizio, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Sodastream, Integral Ad Science, Sparkling Ice, Triller, Epicor and Therabody. 

Services

  • Event management
  • Social media management
  • Digital marketing
  • Reputation management
  • Influencer marketing
  • Celebrity management
  • Public affairs 

Industry focus: Startup technology-based firms, entertainment, consumer businesses, global and regional corporates and emerging corporates

 FleishmanHillard

Noted clients: JP Morgan Chase, Fitbit, Mellon, U.S. Army, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, AT&T, Samsung, General Motors, Philips, BNY, AARP, Roche, GoPro, Levi Strauss & Co, Emerson, Pepsico, Lowe’s and Hanes

Services: 

  • Research and analytics 
  • Reputation management
  • Crisis management
  • Strategic communication
  • Media relations
  • Brand marketing 
  • Public affairs

Industry focus: Government and public sector, telecommunication, food and beverage, agriculture, health and wellness, energy, industry and manufacturing, professional services and financial services 

Real Chemistry

Noted clients: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Ocugen, Amazon Care, Johnson & Johnson, CVS Health, Day One Biopharmaceuticals, Lupin Pharmaceutical, Genomic, Horizon, Radius, Valeant, Adagio Therapeutics, Amneal, Vertex, Dexcom, Immunovant, Daiichi Sankyo, Incyte, Genentech, Cedar and Horizon 

Services: 

  • Integrated communications
  • Reputation management
  • Branding
  • Research and analytics 

Industry focus: Health and wellness 

Evoke 

Noted clients: UCB Web, Radisson Blu, Garmin India, Electro Rent, Barista, Builder.ai and BIGO Technology

Services: 

  • Social media management
  • Content creation plans
  • Influencer campaigns
  • SEO strategy formulation 
  • Email strategy
  • Copywriting
  • Media relations 
  • Campaign management
  • Brand strategy
  • LinkedIn training
  • Press releases
  • Performance benchmarking
  • Brand audits

Industry focus: Media, healthcare, including biotech and pharmaceutical companies and communication

What Should a PR Firm Do for You?

Here is what you can expect from a PR firm.

Reputation management

Reputation management means managing how the public views a brand. It involves shaping the conversations that enhance reputation and improve public perception. Public relations firms focus heavily on reputation management. They monitor and respond to perceptions that could hurt a brand’s position in the community.  

Social media management   

Social media offers an excellent opportunity for PR companies to grow fans, communicate regularly and manage brand reputation. Public relations firms make your brand relatable. They start conversations, respond to client feedback and work with niche-relevant influencers. 

Copywriting and other organizational communication

How you communicate to your employees, customers and suppliers influences the perception of your brand. A PR company helps you communicate in a consistent manner while keeping your core mission in mind. Whether it’s internal communications, press releases, speeches or product launches, PR firms will help you connect favorably.

Media Relations

When you maintain relationships with the media, you can get favorable mentions in relevant industry news. PR firms manage relationships with the media and pitch stories that vouch for your brand. A greater reach increases your chances of market penetration.

Market research 

To build meaningful relationships with your target audience, you need to understand them. Market research involves questioning your target audience through phone interviews, online questionnaires and customer feedback forms. PR firms conduct interviews to gauge customer preferences, market trends and competitor analysis. 

Crisis management

The unexpected often happens in the corporate world. PR firms help deal with the negative impacts of such events through a crisis communication plan. Your stakeholders are updated and engaged regularly. PR firms give you an edge in handling communication during a crisis.

Events management

PR firms help in organizing and publicizing events by reaching out to the media to provide coverage. These actions help promote your brand by reaching a wider audience of relevant stakeholders. Such events may include trade fairs, activations, media interviews or press releases. 

Who Should Hire a PR Firm?

Most companies can benefit from hiring a PR firm to deal with publicity and handle their brand image. 

Banks: Banks and other financial service providers operate in a highly sensitive environment that requires trust. PR firms help build public trust so that customers want to do business with financial firms. 

Fast food restaurants: The food and beverage business is prone to complaints from customers. PR firms can help handle reputational issues and promote their brands.

YouTubers: YouTubers can benefit from hiring PR firms to improve how their target audiences perceive them. PR firms work by endorsing YouTubers work through influencer marketing. 

High-end beauty products: Clients want to be sure they are dealing with products that are safe and authentic beauty products. PR firms can build awareness of sourced ingredients and company commitment to quality.

Sports brands: Sports brands can hire PR firms to manage their social media reach, improve favorable media coverage and protect their reputation.  

Politicians: Politicians invest heavily in PR firms that ensure they get favorable media publicity. Better publicity helps increase their popularity and ratings.

Mobile manufacturers and SaaS businesses: The world of mobile and cloud-based technology experiences cut-throat competition and rapid innovation. PR firms help boost brand awareness of clients to outperform the competition.  

What is Reputation Management?

Reputation management is the public relations effort aimed at influencing a positive perception of your brand among stakeholders. A brand is a delicate asset that takes time to build but can be shattered at a moment’s notice. 

In the business world, this often means working to improve customer satisfaction or repairing damaged relationships with customers. In politics, reputation management may involve damage control after a negative story comes out about a politician. For celebrities, reputation management can be about managing fan perception and keeping up a good public image. 

Reputation management involves monitoring and tactfully countering negative stories and experiences that can potentially harm your brand. 

One high-profile example of reputation management in action is when Tiger Woods hired a team of crisis managers after his infidelity scandal broke in 2009. Tiger's reputation took a major hit after the story came out, and he hired a team of experts to help him clean up his image. They worked to engage with the public, issue statements on his behalf and promote positive stories about him in the media.

While Tiger's example is extreme, it illustrates how important reputation management can be for anyone with a public image to protect. Whether you're a business owner, a politician or a celebrity, if you don't take care of your reputation, it can come back to bite you.