From TV commercials to social media, the way brands communicate with their audience has remarkably changed over the years. Not only has the channels of communication changed, but brands have also adapted the strategies they implement to increase brand awareness, as well.
These changes have influenced brand PR strategies – what works and what doesn’t isn’t the same as it used to be. For any business, having a PR company or Brand ambassador is incredibly important – especially in the IT industry where the image of being an expert is especially important.
What are brand ambassadors?
Businesses invest in brand ambassadors to raise awareness about their brand and to publicise their image. Unlike paid ads, these ambassadors get businesses the brand awareness they need in ways that are subtle and natural. While these PR services are calculated, to your audience, they seem spontaneous, and give off the impression that it wasn’t sponsored by your brand.
Brand or PR ambassadors have a lot of influence in their niche and can generate a lot of customer acquisition for your business by acting as “the face” of your brand, and connecting with their audience in a way paid advertising can’t.
PR companies and firms act as your PR ambassador by offering a variety of services to help your brand’s image. These services include press releases, social media influence, and act as an unaffiliated yet positive opinion on your brand and services.
Why does your IT Company Need Them?
While a lot of businesses across different industries have already realised the importance of brand ambassadors, IT companies still lack behind. In an industry that generally fixates on technicalities, thinking outside the box is sometimes pushed aside.
Here are the 3 main reasons your IT company needs a PR ambassador:
- Ambassadors Help You Grow Your Brand
Your brand ambassadors have their own network or audience, and their network trusts them. Brand ambassadors can generate a lot of good publicity for your brand by spreading good word of mouth and giving your brand a positive image.
Through PR ambassadors, your business could tap into an audience that it would otherwise not be able to access.
- Ambassadors Humanise Your Brand
Customers trust brands that resonate with them on a personal level. Brands that have a personality or brands that are humane tend to have an audience that grows faster. About a third of all respondents ranked “trusting the brand” as one of the top 3 reasons besides price that determines whether or not they do business with a particular brand.
PR ambassadors know this, and they know how to connect with their audience in a way that works. Having a good PR ambassador can help you build the right image for your audience.
- PR Protects Your Brand’s Reputation
You might have heard the saying “all press is good press.” While this may be true for certain industries, an IT company that has a bad reputation won’t get a consistent stream of customers, and your businesses reputation can have a huge impact on customer acquisition and retention.
As an unaffiliated voice, PR ambassadors can help reduce the negative press surrounding your business if it’s ever needed by providing their opinion as an influential voice in the industry.
How much does it cost to hire a PR Company?
Now that you understand the importance of a PR ambassador for your IT company, the next question on your mind would be how much would you have to spend to hire one.
Unfortunately, there’s no one right answer. In the UK, the cost could vary between £3k a month to £40k a month.
What then determines the price of working with a PR Company is what services you would like them to do for you, and the amount of work required from them. When you’re hiring an agency, you’re buying two things from them: their expertise, and their time, so the type of project and how long it needs to be completed will be determining factors in how much the PR company would charge.
Assess the amount of work you need a PR firm for, will it be long-term or short-term? If you’re hiring them for 2 – 3 months, it could be best to pay them on a per project basis. If you’re looking to do regular work with the PR company, it could be best to form a retainer contract with them in which they would agree to a set amount of work for a set monthly pay. Working with a PR firm or ambassador on a retainer allows them to be flexible with their fees, as you’d likely establish a long-term relationship with them.
As an IT company, make sure you identify a PR company that is specialised tech or IT, and with experience in the industry. IT companies that focus on their niche can offer customised strategies and a variety of services in PR work that is specific to your industry. What works in healthcare doesn’t necessarily work in the IT industry.
Public relations are a must for any IT company to form, enhance and build relations with their customer. An IT company’s reputation as experts in the field matters, and if that image has not already been established, a PR firm is the ticket!