PR Expert Roundup

Experts Say

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People say that public relations (PR) is overrated, overpriced, and irrelevant for business growth. So many businesses are hesitant to invest in PR because of these three reasons. Well, let’s hear from experts from around the world to answer this burning question: is PR worth it?

In this article, you’ll see that all 52 experts believe that: 

  1. It’s a cost worth paying 
  2. Companies should leave it to the professionals
  3. PR is important for brand building 
  4. PR is essential to add to your marketing strategies 
  5. PR generates long-term SEO value 
  6. PR makes trust & relationship building possible
  7. PR is a long game, don’t expect immediate results
  8. PR campaigns from narratives that build brands
  9. Setting clear goals for your PR campaign can make all the difference

Ready to learn more about this? Let’s dive in!

1. It’s a Cost Worth Paying

Lisa Stephenson

Lisa Stephenson from She’s SINGLE Magazine states: “Experiencing PR campaigns can be a hit or miss contingent upon your client’s overall budget. We know that we live in the age of technology and the attention span of our audience is low. Therefore, we have to be quick, effective and strategic with high-quality visuals and partnerships. It’s not a waste of time if as a client you understand that PR alone cannot guarantee sales or overnight results. However, it is an excellent investment. If you’re hesitant to sign up with a PR agency it is most likely because of financial setbacks vs lack of knowledge of its importance. I tell my clients, “Have a Kris Jenner mindset. There is no media placement too big or too small, they have an audience that the audience doesn’t know, and now they will!”

Jason Feldman

Jason Feldman from Feldman & Feldman Associates states: “The fact that you’re paying for access to their contact lists is crucial. Most of the time, it’s a cost worth paying. It’s just a case of them remembering a name they’ve worked with before. Journalists who might otherwise disregard a press release issued from your corporate email may be enticed to open it if they see the name of an agency linked to it.”

Michael Alexis

Michael Alexis from teambuilding states: “For tangible results, I think it’s important to recognize the range of benefits you see from coverage. For PR to be effective, it needs to have the right value proposition, and for the right people to find it at the right time. Considering these factors, I believe that PR is both an excellent use of time and investment for a business. With each mention, you can expect to see results similar to the above plus a bonus element of serendipity — your PR mentions will reach new people, which can lead to more media features, partnership opportunities, investor interest and more.”

Rishika Patel

Rishika Patel from Writecream states: “PR is a great investment in my opinion. It’s a lot of work, but it can help you reach a wider audience and get your message in front of a lot of people. PR is a long-term investment, so it’s important to have a strategy in place to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. It’s important to always remember that PR is about your business being seen as a thought leader in your industry, influencing the decisions of the people you are trying to reach with your content, creating a conversation with the people you are trying to reach, and being able to shape the future of your company.”

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson from Sawinery states: “PR is worth it. Although success is not always guaranteed in using PR, it can help you reach out to a huge audience and have greater influence over potential clients.  In contrast to paid advertising media placement, it is more cost-effective, especially if done in-house. I have overseen lots of PR stunts and only a small fraction results in negative publicity. Its benefits definitely outweigh the risks. As long as it is done properly using the right formula, it can help raise your business’ profile and improve your reputation.”

2. Leave it to the pros

Paul Baterina

Paul Baterina from Sleep Advisor states, “You wouldn’t attempt brain surgery if you aren’t a brain surgeon, right? Why then try and manage PR on your own? Get a specialist to help. That’s why using a PR company to help improve our reputation is a solid investment that has paid dividends.”

Nate Tsang

Nate Tsang from WallStreetZen states: “Digital PR can get very messy, so having a firm that handles both the creative side and the data side is the best bet, particularly when you’re working in tech. Doing it yourself leads you to all kinds of websites and publications out there, and you never know for certain which ones will bring you the best results—not to mention the time and effort it takes to pitch. PR professionals can prove their worth quickly by connecting you with the right resources and opportunities within weeks of starting. The tangible benefits are increasingly data-driven results.”

Adam Wood

Adam Wood from RevenueGeeks states: “An agency is a way to go if you feel like your PR operations need to be completely reset. Outside public relations firms, in my experience, are significantly more inclined to advocate big changes when they are needed. Despite their many advantages, in-house teams are often significantly more cautious when it comes to changing directions. This isn’t unexpected, given that PR firms are always looking for new methods to revitalize your media presence and stamp their mark on it. Isn’t that what you’re paying them for? You will always benefit from the knowledge and informed perspective of PR agencies, whether it is a simple refresh of your image or a radical transformation in the way you communicate with the media. They can keep you from falling behind if you’ve been around. They can assist you in getting started on the right track if you’re just starting off.”

Bradley Bonnen

Bradley Bonnen from iFloodedRestoration states “Businesses of all types use public relations agencies for the same reason they outsource any number of procedures and tasks: they can do it better and more efficiently. You could clean your own office at night, hire your own security in the building where you work, and never spend a dime on anyone who isn’t directly employed by you, but you don’t because it makes more sense to pay those who specialize in services. The same argument can be used in public relations businesses. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking you can do the task just as well as the professionals. When you need public relations assistance but don’t know where to start, hiring a public relations firm is the logical solution.

3. PR is Important for Brand Building

Anthony Martin

Anthony Martin from Choice Mutual states, “PR is important, especially in today’s day and age. Quality press coverage is difficult to achieve on your own and is a necessary part of conducting business in today’s world. Values-based messaging is taking over, with more customers looking into the activities of the businesses that they are buying from. What I would say to hesitant clients is that PR broadens the reach of your brand in ways that you cannot. It isn’t about reaching potential customers, what PR does is define the voice of your brand and put it on people’s radar so that they can reach you, much like marketing does. PR has personally helped me and I continue doing it today, making sure my voice is heard on platforms well-respected for their expertise. It helps my business, Choice Mutual, gain authority in a competitive field like insurance.”

Tyson Stevens

Tyson Stevens from states: “There is a narrative behind every brand, organization, and individual. It’s never just about the product, whether it’s how the product affects someone or the company’s philosophy/owner. It is PR’s role to bring these stories to light in order to assist the brand gain traction. Brands may shape the initial material since the brand story begins with how the brand introduces itself. The customer then participates and interacts with the brand, reinterpreting the message and extending the conversation.”

Lily Burns

Lily Burns from AptAmigo states; “Investing in PR is beneficial, as it can produce positive, long term results. PR can help to elevate a brand by increasing awareness, establishing credibility, and building consumer trust.” 

Sarah Jameson

Sarah Jameson from Green Building Elements states: “Increase your brand’s credibility: Yes, being a business owner, I strongly believe that PR is worth it mainly because it increases the brand’s credibility. Publicity through PR gives credibility to your business as the content is more authentic and informative. According to studies, public relations provides greater visibility and credibility among customers than advertising, which is viewed as more promotional.”

4. PR is Essential to Marketing

Jessica Armstrong

Jessica Armstrong from TeamUp states: “PR is a fundamental part of any marketing team. One of the best ways to utilize a PR agent or PR team is to not only focus on damage control or specific campaigns but to build powerful networks of contacts and partners that act as your own marketing channel. One strong connection has the power to get your business featured, your name out there, and a PR agent or team who understands the importance of connecting with journalists and reporters and how to build those relationships is a valuable resource and component of your marketing strategy. Without a member of your team actively working to find and build these strong connections, you miss the opportunity to earn your business the exposure it needs to grow, earn new clients, and be visible on search engines.”

Matt Weber

Matt Weber from Weber & Co. states: “An investment in public relations could be a good move because it can potentially help to increase the awareness of what you are trying to sell or achieve, and it might even work to change people’s attitudes towards what you offer. PR is an important part of any marketing strategy because you need to be able to market yourself and promote your service or product. If you don’t do this properly then it could affect how well you do in business as there won’t be as much interest from potential customers. It is always a good idea to try and get as much exposure as possible, even if it doesn’t result in those people buying from you straight away. PR can be extremely useful for getting yourself out there and promoting what you do.”

Shahmohammadi Kamyar

Shahmohammadi Kamyar from World Consulting Group states: “PR is one of the most beneficial ways to build on your market strategy and ensure the most relevant people are seeing what you have to offer. Marketing talks to the people, whereas PR is your avenue to the professionals – working with agencies is a highly popular and preferred method for this because it is their bread and butter. They have the contacts and they know who to target. Doing it in-house is completely possible, but with each employee you replace, there is potential that you have to rebuild that relationship from scratch, and an agency maintains these relationships and is in the mix of things to know when changes are happening as they happen, meaning they can keep much more on top of everything that is needed.”

Brandon Hopkins

Brandon Hopkins from DiamondLinks states: “Absolutely not, PR is not a waste of time. But, over the last number of years, the approach and expected return have changed and we’ve had to adapt. PR is now very closely related to the work we do in marketing. It’s imaging, text, content, and thought leadership combined – and it’s very Internet-dependent. PR can be used to amplify your marketing results to grow your brand, increase Google results, and reach your specific growth goals. PR is no longer one thing – and it is changing all the time – but PR can be very effective in promoting your marketing growth and improving the brand’s awareness, especially online.”

Robert Barrows

Robert Barrows from Barrows2 states: “PR is a vital part of marketing,  but be sure to back up your PR efforts with a lot of paid advertising to make sure you can get your message out there! When I work with a client, depending on a variety of factors relative to their particular business, I will generally suggest that about 10-15% of their budget should be allocated toward Public Relations efforts, and about. 85-90% of their budget should be allocated to paid advertising. With PR, you can’t count on getting coverage, and you can’t control who might say what, where and when. With paid advertising, you can say what you want, where and when you want it (depending on your budget, of course).

Harrison Baron

Harrison Baron from Growth Generators states: “One thing we help our clients do is to manage their online PR campaigns. Through inbound marketing, we have found that their clientele has only increased. Therefore it is a good investment because, had we not helped them market their business, then they wouldn’t have been as successful as they are now. So what we would say to clients who are hesitant to sign up is that they won’t gain anything if they don’t do anything to get their business out there.”

5. PR Increases Brand Awareness

Karol Nowacki

Karol Nowacki from Tidio states:PR allows us to mindfully manage the image of our company, supporting us in building long-term relationships with customers and partners. A well-managed PR strategy is crucial in the face of crisis – it helps companies rebuild trust and reputation. I see PR as a bridge between the company and the business world – PR increases brand awareness, builds relationships with employees and customers, and forms an opinion of how our business thrives. Without PR strategy, we simply allow some random events to shape the image of our company, leading our business in a direction we have no idea about.”

Ian Sells

Ian Sells from RebateKey states: “PR increases brand awareness and attracts more people. PR is still very useful in disseminating information, creating noise, and reaching a lot more people. For example, this Global News Wire PR release alone has led to a lot of visits to our website. Not only that, but since that PR piece was released, a lot more people have downloaded our Chrome extension.”

Lauren Cook-McKay

Lauren Cook-McKay from DivorceAnswers states: “When it comes to hiring, PR promotes brands and raises brand awareness, which improves the number of applications. It’s also a wonderful technique to alert the general public and employees about outsider customer service relations (CSR) activities that they may not be aware of. Employee morale is also boosted via public relations, which makes employees proud of what the company is doing. Owners can be especially proud because their business is being featured in their preferred media outlets. When you empower yourself and your employees, you can’t top that kind of viral and organic promotion.”

Aviad Faruz

Aviad Faruz from FARUZO states: “PR draws interest to your brand. Interest sparks attention. Attention leads to retention and then converts to sales. This is exactly what a PR does to your brand. While it still depends on what PR strategy you use, the point of investing in PR is what matters. This is something that companies do not have to second-guess as it should be a requirement of your marketing plans. Getting publicity is the key to getting the attention your brand needs to thrive.”

Hassan Usmani

Hassan Usmani from YeeLight states: “Public relations not only has an outward impact on a firm, but it also has numerous benefits on its employees. Employee morale is boosted via public relations, which makes employees proud of what the company is doing. Owners can be especially proud because their business is being featured in their preferred media outlets. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overheard business owners pinning an item to their refrigerator, sharing it on personal social media platforms, or telling their friends and family about it at parties. When you empower yourself and your employees, you can’t stop that kind of viral and organic promotion.”

David Johnson

David Johnson from Strategic Vision PR Group states: “Public relations is essential to any business, especially new and emerging businesses.  It creates public recognition and brand awareness that bolsters any marketing that is being done.  Even more, it stands out from paid advertising as consumers ignore ads but pay attention to stories which feature companies. Finally, it allows a business to tell its story and today’s consumers want to know the brand story and ensure that its values coincide with their own.  Public relations allows a company to communicate to consumers in a direct way that doesn’t sound like a sales pitch.”

Greta Snell

Greta Snell from Dittoe PR states: “It takes a great deal of strategy and collaboration to ensure success in a PR campaign. There are many parts in each campaign to tailor it to a specific client’s big picture while also addressing every detail to create a well-rounded strategy to drive results. And the need for PR has continued to trend up, especially since the onset of the pandemic. More and more companies are reorganizing their operational departments to include integrated PR plans to create a competitive advantage in their industries and markets with trusted partners to help anticipate what the future holds and how different audiences will react. Public relations supports so many facets of any business or organization, and when done right and strategically, you benefit from sharing the right information in the right places building brand reputation and awareness.”

6. Creating captivating PR pitches

Amy Jackson

Amy Jackson from TaleSplash states: “It’s an incredibly unique time for a PR strategy to provide tangible benefits to emerging brands. Given how rapidly our world is changing due to the pandemic, climate change, supply chain disruption, innovation and social media, there’s never been a better opportunity to join the conversation and help make sense of it all. Press coverage is an incredible tool for building credibility on your website, driving engagement in social channels, as well as building long-term SEO value.”

Tyler Martin

Business coach Tyler Martin states: “If you work in SEO, you already know that this is great news, and it’s only going to get better as Google shifts its focus away from on-site approaches and toward off-site elements. In competitive industries, having credible links is critical for improving your search results. In addition, being covered by a reputable local paper or the media is a valuable strategy that can help your SEO significantly.”

7. PR Makes Trust & Relationship Building Possible

Dan Alder

Dan Alder from LEVVVEL states: “I firmly believe that PR remains a good investment for your brand. Although marketing and PR are generally intertwined, there is a clear and crucial difference between the two and that is PR being an independent endorsement. This immediately builds trust between your brand and the public and that is what makes PR worth it.”

Darshan Somashekar

Darshan Somashekar from Spider Solitaire states: “In order for a company to succeed, it must be based on trust and honesty, regardless of the field in which it works. When businesses are dishonest, it is difficult for potential customers to trust them, and sales are lost as a result. In the eyes of many customers, honesty is a competitive advantage. It’s what causes people to trust one brand over another. It is not as simple as it may appear to increase brand credibility. You’ll have to put in some work and improve your public relations.”

Bram Jansen

Bram Jansen from vpnAlert states: “PR builds trust with new and present customers. Traditional advertising is well-known, and people have preconceived notions about it, but public relations can reach out to people on a more personal basis. This may cause individuals to reconsider their views on a particular brand. Some consumers are wary of messages that come straight from a company. These people are more likely to consider purchasing a product after receiving third-party confirmation. A blogger, for example, writes about their experience with a brand. Their viewers value the blogger’s honest assessment of the products, and they help spread word-of-mouth both online and offline.”

Tess Tobias

Tess Tobias from Encite International states: “PR can feel questionable at times but in the long run word of mouth advocacy is one of the best assets you can have to gain credibility for your brand. Trust is one of the defining factors of success and without Public Relations, building that trust can be a challenge. PR is the glue to a strong marketing campaign and consumer support. It’s one thing to be a brand that people are aware of, but it’s another to be a brand people are proud to be a part of. A company that improves its character through a range of unique PR practices will draw in new potential customers looking for their perfect match.”

Kristoffer Howes

Kristoffer Howes from G2M Research states: “Regardless of company size or industry, public relations (PR) is a great investment. This is because fundamentally, public relations are actions taken to establish and nurture relationships. These relations are built to maintain a positive perception of a company in good times and bad. Businesses, organizations, and professionals would be wise to engage in strategic and purposeful public relations efforts to build meaningful relationships and influence general perceptions before a crisis arises. In preparation for a situation, especially negative or difficult, the strategic relationships established through proactive PR provide a deep, protective moat of positive sentiment around a brand.”

Jafar Sadhik

Jafar Sadhik from SmartKarrot states: “PR efforts produce better ROI. I feel the clients that are cagey to invest in PR are dubious of their objectives and often consider other online advertising (Google Ads, social media ads, etc.) as its alternative. However, I suggest PR is the best way to bridge the connection between businesses and their customers. This is why most well-known companies don’t overthink investing in PR. This works well for all kinds of small, medium, and large budgets as there are numerous ways to secure media exposure. But be sure to check the agency’s past record, achievements, and the strategies they follow to make your business grow.”

Kamyar Shah

Consultant Kamyar Shah states: “PR is one of the most important departments in a company. PR is a good investment because it creates a rapport between a business and its customer base, thereby increasing visibility, awareness, and favorable behavior change. PR has innumerable benefits for businesses but some of the most important include increasing a company’s credibility and reputability; attracting the right target market for the business; creating opportunities for long-term lead generation, and creating the basis for brand equity. Individuals seeking to consult PR agencies stand the chance of creating, establishing, and expanding their businesses by reaching the right consumers and investors. PR is not a game, but an intricate strategy that requires significant investment and the involvement of professionals.”

David Wurst

David Wurst from WebCitz states: “PR Helps To Manage Reputation. Reputation management requires trusted media connections. For example, you might face dreadful situations in your company, such as wrong advertising or angry customers venting on social media about how bad your product is. In these situations, media contacts can help you in repairing the damage with a simple press release. Businesses can use public relations agencies to make those kinds of connections.”

Mike Nemeroff

Mike Nemeroff from RushOrderTees states: “I was sceptical of PR up until a few years ago when we earned a few press mentions here in Philadelphia, where we’re based. Articles still earn us website visits every month, are strong backlinks for our website, and even get mentioned by new customers to our business. I think the real value of PR is in getting local attention. Our partnership with the Philadelphia Flyers and our nurtured ties to local journalists position us as a hometown company with an international reach. You have to earn that trust, and PR is how you do it, plain and simple.”

8. PR is a Long Game - Don’t Expect Immediate Results

Jonathan Zacharias

Jonathan Zacharias from GR0 states: “My recommendation to all companies seeking to engage in traditional PR: have no expectations. Indeed, obtaining press from popular sites can garner very little conversion, while press from more niche-based sources can be successful. More than anything else, however, change how you measure ROI. Traditional PR cannot be measured in terms of direct purchases, but rather, as another validator for customers. Therefore, aim to acquire 8-10 press mentions within the first two months. If this is achieved, you can then incorporate them into your marketing funnels, on your website, and even in email marketing campaigns to acquire a greater rate of conversion. For those hesitant about traditional PR, know that it is a long term game, not a get rich quick scheme.

Tim White

Tim White from milepro states: “PR is absolutely not a waste of time! By doing media outreach as a part of our public relations campaign, we’ve managed to get links from authoritative sites like CNBC Travel. The media coverage from this article alone drove hundreds of relevant visitors to our site and helped to boost our sales. Plus, since CNBC has a domain rating of 92, it helped to boost our domain rating as well, which helps our website’s authority. Companies may think PR is a waste of time because it takes patience and persistence to see results. Not every pitch for media coverage is going to be successful, but if you’re consistent with your efforts it will pay off.”

Ravi Patel

Ravi Patel from Job Alert states: “In most cases, PR is used to obtain high-quality press coverage rather than social media followers. There are much less expensive ways to establish your social media networks, but those metrics aren’t always crucial. Press coverage helps you raise your profile ‘higher up’ the chain in ways that may not pay off right away but will pay off later.”

Thomas Hawkins

Thomas Hawkins from Electrician Apprentice HQ states: “In my experience as head of PR, it is absolutely not a waste of time. You probably won’t see overnight results. Whether you’re talking social media or any other form of PR it takes time to build relationships, expand your audience, and see any real results. Therefore, you should definitely take a long-term approach.”

9. PR Campaigns Form Narratives that Build Brands

Darsh Ray

Darsh Ray from Job Alert states: “One of the most distinguishing characteristics of public relations is that it is essentially human. PR is not a tool that can be manufactured or replicated by a machine. All press releases, articles, and other content, for example, must be authored by a human and must pass through editorial filters before reaching their intended audience. Public relations is always personal. A personal touch improves marketing, and public relations is elevated above many other mediums.”

Tanner Arnold

Tanner Arnold from Revelation Machinery states: “PR can help you reach out to niche markets via traditional, digital, and experiential methods. Digital and immersive public relations can effectively engage with niche audiences who don’t respond to traditional marketing methods. Is your target audience in their forties or fifties? They can be reached through public relations. Are they in their twenties? They will be reached through PR’s digital media sources as well. Are they doubtful? Inquisitive? PR has covered all of the bases.”

Zaeem Chaudhary

Zaeem Chaudhary from  AC Design Solutions states: “There is a narrative behind every brand, organization, and individual. It’s never just about the product, whether it’s how the product affects someone or the company’s philosophy/owner. It is PR’s role to bring these stories to light in order to assist the brand in gaining traction. Brands may shape the initial material since the brand story begins with how the brand introduces itself. The customer then participates and interacts with the brand, reinterpreting the message and extending the conversation.”

Eri Panselina

Eri Panselina from Epignosis states: “The eye of the consumer is so well trained to mentally skip ads and sponsored content, in general, that organic mentions and content really stand out. 

Even though not directly measurable – and this is why most people consider PR as a waste of time – the impact of organic placements is enormous in the long term. 

You may not get the click, the purchase, or the signup right away, but media mentions help your company build a long-term relationship with readers-turned-potential consumers that is based on trust, perceived authority, and expertise.”

Taryn Scher

Taryn Scher from TK PR states: “The majority of people I meet tell me they sent out a press release and never heard anything back. Well yes, that’s absolutely a waste of everyone’s time: the person who wrote it, the people who supplied quotes for it, and the journalists you blasted it to via email. A press release is not going to get you any press in 2021 (or 2022, or 2030). PR is about storytelling and knowing how to give journalists what they are looking for. If you’ve ever heard me speak at a conference you know my stance on this: the information in a press release is important- someone in your business or corporation thought it was important enough to warrant a press release. But it’s not a story. It’s the foundation- but press releases rarely paint the full picture. You need a timely hook or an unusual angle to present along with your press release if you want to see any real outcome.”

Robb Hecht

Productivity coach Robb Hecht states: “PR is not a waste of time. Why? GenZ demands authenticity from brands, influencers and content creators. While advertising can drive the message home, the core of today’s brand often starts with an authentic story built and molded by PR. These include showcasing the unique and authentic purpose-driven traits of a company, product or person. In effect through earned media, content co-creation and PR, a brand is authentically built, then advertising takes over to build that positioning via creative and media efforts.”

Che Kohler

Che Kohler from nichemarket states: “PR is always a mixed bag and publication selection is paramount, and something PR agencies don’t always get right, not only due to their focus on the same publications they have relationships with but because clients don’t understand how PR works. Most PR centres around getting mentions in large publications but what actually pushes the needle are niche publications where you can drive real users from the publication to your site, this way you can use the traffic to create funnels, profile users, secure leads and even build organic rankings through high quality backlinking. I don’t see PR as a waste of time, I just think it’s not used correctly by most brands.”

10. Set Clear Goals for Your PR Campaign

Gerrid Smith

Gerrid Smith from Corporate Investigation Consulting states: “Public relations is worth it, and it works quite effectively. However, before you hire a PR firm, make sure you have your ducks in a row: know your goals and upcoming product releases. New clients aren’t going to gain you much coverage, so think about what else you can incorporate (product launches, milestones, events, etc.) to properly make it work.

Kevin McGuire

Kevin McGuire from Metro Precision Painting states: “If you are in PR you should ask yourself what is the goal of your PR campaign? Your press release should answer these questions and not just say “here is what we did.” If you do not have anything press-worthy then why are you doing PR? If you are just doing it because your competitors are then you’re wasting your money.”

Kevin Miller

Internet entrepreneur Kevin Miller states: “People are often discouraged when they invest in PR because it can be expensive. They may spend a lot of time and money on the project but not know if it will work or not. It is always really hard to judge how your PR efforts are going to work, which makes people hesitant to invest in it. If you’re just looking for customers, then you want to focus more on sales than brand awareness. If you’re looking to invest in PR for your business, then my advice would be that you should do some research first on what you want your end result for this project to be. If it’s just making sure people know about your brand/product, then focus more time and resources into creating content that is going to show that off. If you’re trying to get sales from it then make the most out of the opportunities where you can get in front of your customers.”