Do PR agencies need to promote themselves

Dear members,

PR agencies promote brands and products of other people. PR helps to create awareness by means of promotional activities. But the question that comes to my mind right now is that do PR agencies need to promote themselves. I am asking this because I have received requests from some agencies (may be new into the business) asking for Google advertisements, Facebook ads and ads in other media which I actually found a bit surprising. So my question is, is there any necessity for PR agencies to promote themselves either by advertising or marketing? in case if there is a necessity should they advertise or do marketing for the same ? 
Rajat B

The wise man speaks because he has something to say, the fool because he has to say something


9 comments on “Do PR agencies need to promote themselves

  1. BNK said that PR agencies need to build their brands. He didn’t say that you’ve to advertise to do it. On the other hand, if PR agencies haven’t advertised yet, doesn’t mean they’ll never do. For all you know, they may sometime soon. So, don’t strike it off just yet.

    But there’s a reason why PR agencies don’t like to advertise. It’s because advertising is usually a waste of money. In our business (which is consultancy by the way), you can possibly advertise either to gain business or to gain people. Unfortunately, client’s don’t get impressed with your ads, and good PR professionals are so rare in India that 1 in 10 million of your Ad readers / viewers may be your TA. That’s a huge waste of advertising rupees.

    This is why PR agencies may never advertise. For these two purposes, it makes sense to go through a proper head hunting specialist and rely on WoM and case studies for impressing clients.

    However, some of the areas where PR agencies may advertise pretty soon — addition of new businesses such as social media, events, activations, celebrity management, sports management, research resources business (launch of tools etc.).

    I guess what BNK meant was that you build yourself as a brand the way you do it for your clients — through PR.


  2. You are right Mr. Malik. I guess I didn’t write it in such an elaborate manner but my meaning was the same – Build brand through your work. There are intelligent people on the clients side and most of them know the brand equity/ capabilities of an agency.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

  3. From the last 2/3 years, the number of PR agencies in India have been increasing at a fast pace. In Delhi, I could see a huge number of small and medium sized PR agencies are opening up (1 to 10 people). It has created a very stiff competition among all PR agencies to get new clients (regardless of small/big brands). Most of the new agencies are trying to build their own reputation and visibility in the market. SEO is one of the advertising activity which most of the agencies are implementing.

    I believe, there is a necessity for PR agencies to promote themselves either by advertising or marketing. I could notice many authored articles or interview pieces of various PR agency heads quite regularly on national media (But it is unpaid.). It also helps the agencies to get recognized by the potential clients and enjoys an image edge over others.

    Thank you.

    Best regards,

    Arupjyoti Gogoi
    A-12, 2nd Floor, Kalkaji
    New Delhi- 110019
    GSM: +91-9968126336/ +91-9871328638
    Landline: 011-40167172
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  4. They do advertise, I remember ad factors advertising for IPO and crisis communication unit.

    Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

    Nikhil Kashyap

  5. Hi,

    The discussion was on whether PR agencies promote themselves, and not on advertising. I dnt undrstand why most of the people here can’t understand the communication and hence communicating in wrong way. And most of the time the same thing happens in front of the client, client says something and we are unable to understand what they mean.

    I agree with Arupjyot, some PR agencies are engaging in SEO and SMO activity, but only some say 1%, others don’t because most of them don’t know or they co-relate it with facebook and twitter.

    Lastly for that matter, advertising on Just dial is not bad either, coz many SMEs call just dial to find who will give them coverage in newspapers and manage press conferences and just dial passes the leads to event management, who then become a third party for PR agencies.


    Moses Gomes

  6. I agree with most of the opinions but I would like to know if I am branding my agency then an awareness has to be made by some means or the other is it not?

    Is it just by manual direct sales and marketing and reference related work? (Then we are more like salesmen going door to door)

    I could find one good point by Arupjyoti where practitioners are writing articles to make their presence felt and also as some of you have pointed out about some agencies like Adfactors advertising.

    But then again the question is if a PR agency has to advertise what will it be its target audience?

    Since all of us are aware that PR is a service sector industry and not a manufacturing product industry so will advertising be of any help in that case?

    Or do we pitch articles the importance of PR in business development in major print sections?

    How will I reach out to potential clients? How to make them aware that we are here and these are our services?

    Rajat B

  7. That was a very very rare occasion and fit for case study. Otherwise a PR agency does not need to advertise! That’s the difference between ad and PR agencies.


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