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Articles / practice / Services in the field of PR: specificity and its required to the client
17 March 2011
Services in the field of PR: specificity and its required to the client

         The first post-crisis trends on the Ukrainian market of PR-services have clearly demonstrated that customers’ opinion about PR was re-evaluated. Performance Indicators PR-services have become closely associated with marketing effectiveness and the issue of differentiation PR-activities to "own" and "outsourcing" has been perceived in a new light.

         Experts believe that some PR-products and services can be combined into an independent group of "service": similar to standard in the marketing and trade concept. As we know, “service” is the range of services related to the maintenance of efficient operation, repair and adjustment of a particular product or system activity. As such a system work, of course, PR-activity of the company can be also viewed, if you need to monitor and improve the outside of PR-activity from time to time: to build, test performance, handling. 
        "Service" approach to PR-service solves many problems of companies that do not use outsourcing or ongoing cooperation with the PR-agency they are not completely satisfied. Without resorting to long-term contract with a PR-agency, but thanks to the spot contracts you can not only check how effective is the existing mechanism of PR-activities of the company, but also fix the problem, in the case of detecting them. 
          PR-service products include:
• PR-audit (reputation / communication audit)
• consulting,
• educational events (trainings, workshops, etc)
• crisis management,
PR-support, and PR-support directions, actions and projects (performance of specific functions in some areas).
         PR-audit can be compared with the diagnostic of any technology in the service center. Independent professionals identify the problem by using special techniques, find out the cause, then eliminate or propose algorithm how to troubleshoot them. This is a special kind of research that determines the level of development and the overall effectiveness of PR in a company or organization. It is imperative that an audit was conducted by specialists of an independent specialized agency, because the scheme "himself makes, himself in control”, inherent to many companies and agencies, for obvious reasons, is not effective. 
          "One of the typical difficulties of companies that I have identified during the audit - is the lack of clear goals in PR, which would be measurable and related to marketing the results. For example, the number of publications in the media is not a goal but a tool, and "image creation" is the purpose of an abstract and not measured. Hence, appears the inability to identify the specific results of PR-activities. Another common mistake is the lack of an integrated approach and focus on the target audience "- says Ruslana Plis, head of IAC «Publicity».
        PR-audit (communication audit, reputational audit) is applied if:
• The company wants to improve communication, information, PR-activity or to systematize the activities of these areas;
• The company changes its business strategy, market positioning;
• The company or brand gets new problems; new start trademark, opens up new areas of activity;
• The company was restructured, or there was changed a top management;
• The company wishes to obtain an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of its PR-work (its own PR-department or agency, outsourcing).
        According to the audit client receives the results presented in charts, graphs, and summary conclusions, also recommendations. Thus, audit is a kind of "inspection service", which often ends in "repair service" - a system of practical measures to overcome the situation, to restore the reputation of the company and to establish internal corporate climate. According to IAC «Publicity», after the audit, the effectiveness of communications software companies increased on average by 40-70%, in some cases even by more.
        Anti-crisis programs are the form "service” PR. Their relevance today is most often associated with the presence of negative information in Internet, which appears either as a result of the actions of competitors and the spread of false information to the media, either because of misunderstanding, the presence of false perceptions of the company, its services or products. Usually anti-crisis requires a rapid response (for example, "cleaning" of negativity on the Internet, combined with the prevalence of positive information), and on its own company is not always good, so many companies attract specialized communications agencies.
        The anti-crisis program may be a sort of "repair" the reputation, company image in the eyes of the target audience, and also it may be "tuning", that means it may change and develop image, reputation, and own approaches to the PR-activities.
As for consulting, this service is one of the most sought after in the world market PR: no accident, up to 80% of the largest PR-agencies in the world are consulting. Recommendation of an experienced specialist on strategy and tactics in marketing communications can help avoid mistakes and give new impetus to targeting effective work in the months ahead.
         "The most in demand consulting the owners and top officials", - said Valeriy Kureyko, who has spent more than 4,000 consulting hours over the years of his practice. "For our regular customers consulting usually comes at the cost of customer service, in other cases payment is hourly and depends mainly on the level of consultant. The typical duration of the meeting - 2 hours, during this time we can discuss from 3 to 5 issues of average complexity and give oral advice.
Also popular PR-services are various training activities, seminars and master classes. They are often bought as a result of PR-communication audit - for example, training for key personnel can adjust the "trouble spots" and develop the right decisions in a direction of PR-communications

         The main requirement for such events is their practical orientation. Listeners not only get the system of knowledge, but also master the practical skills, develop specific algorithms, circuits and solutions for their company.
         With regard to services in the area "support/escort/maintenance", today for example such services are:
• Supporting of corporate website (content and regular / operational update news information content)
• Creating and/or supporting areas in social networks (including blogging, groups, and "events" in social networks created under events, marketing and PR-campaigns, etc.)
• Information support of events, projects by external PR-Agency (announcing, attract media attention, consumers, online coverage, post-lighting, etc.)
• Working of the personal from the agency on large or particularly important events (for example, to perform the functions of registration, meeting/escort specific groups of guests of the event, the organization of interactive forms (video interview, survey, online broadcast, etc.) 
         To summarize, it is worth noting that service PR-products are particularly relevant in the post-crisis time when communication is gradually turnover, activity of the companies is increasing, expanding, becoming more diverse and complex, and therefore, in particular, it’s requires a competent evaluation from the outside. Without signing a long term contract with a PR-agency, saving time and resources, companies, producers, organizations can most effectively handle their own PR-strategy and tactics. In this case, as with any service, there is the effect of "guarantees": advices and knowledge acquired by the company from a professional PR-agency during the audit, consulting or training, shall remain forever.

 

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