What Does a PR Agency Really Do, and When Should You Hire One?

Apr 17 2023

by Ellie McNevin

At Birdie Public Relations, we regularly get questions about when a brand should bring on PR support or what they can do to make sure they get the best possible results when working with an agency – we literally created a whole video course about it! It’s such a good question to ask because each agency can offer different services and every brand is different. In this blog post, we’ll cover a few things to keep in mind so you know exactly what hiring PR support entails and what it can do for your brand. 


Understanding the Role of a PR Agency 

I always say that our agency is equal parts press and positioning – meaning it’s not just that we get your company placed in top national media, but we make sure that people are saying the right things about your brand. One of my favorite quotes is by Jeff Bezos, which says, 

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

It’s a perfect summary of why you might hire PR support. First and foremost you want people talking about your brand without them knowing you directly (aka a household name), and you want them to be saying nice things – meaning you are well positioned in your industry. 


But let’s get into exactly what a PR agency does. Here are a few examples:

  • Media relations: PR agencies work to build and maintain relationships with journalists, editors, and other media professionals to secure positive media coverage for their clients. This could involve pitching stories, setting up interviews, or organizing press events. 

  • Brand positioning: The world of PR is rapidly changing, and publicists are observing the landscape from all angles to make sure your brand is best positioned to break through the noise. Your PR agency can help hone in on your white space in the industry and guide messaging for press outreach and brand partnerships moving forward.

  • Partnerships and Collaborations: We don’t just pitch stories – we help create them, often through a thoughtful collaboration or brand partnership. We lay all the groundwork — finding the best partner for you to ensure maximum press potential, putting together a pitch and connecting the dots to help bring the next chapter of your brand’s story to life.

  • Event planning: PR agencies may plan and execute events for clients, such as product launches, press conferences, or charity events. These events are designed to generate media coverage and promote a client’s brand. 

  • Speaking engagements and award submissions: At Birdie, we work diligently to position clients as thought leaders in their industries through strategic award recognition and speaking engagements that put their brands on the map.

  • Influencer partnerships: Not all PR agencies handle influencer partnerships as that is technically more of a marketing speciality, but some do. It’s worth asking as you interview agencies if that is something that’s important to you.

Here’s an example of an article in Fast company placed by Birdie Public Relations on behalf of our clients and Southern C alums Poppy Gifting

And here are a few things PR agencies typically don’t do… While the lines between PR and marketing continue to become more blurred, PR and marketing are still two very different specialties. Typically, your PR team is not the one to handle:

  • Email marketing

  • Social media strategy and content creation

  • SEO

  • Digital advertising


When to Hire a PR Agency 

Now that we’ve gone over what a PR agency does, it’s important to determine when it’s the right time to hire one. Here are some times with PF support could really help grow your brand:

  • Ready to grow: If you have clear business goals and you’re ready to invest in taking your business to the next level, a PR agency could help support you in those growth goals by building additional brand awareness and connecting you with new customers.  

  • Expansion or launch: If your company is launching for the first time, launching a new product or service, or is expanding into new markets (think store openings!), a PR agency can help generate buzz and build awareness in the target market. 

  • Rebranding or reputation management: If you’re rebranding your company or need help managing a PR crisis, a PR agency can guide you through the process and help to rebuild your public image. 

  • Limited in-house resources: If your company doesn’t have a dedicated PR or marketing team, hiring a PR agency can fill that gap and provide expert support in managing your public image. 

  • Need for media connections: PR agencies have established relationships with media professionals, so if you’re struggling to get media coverage, a PR agency can help.

  • Consistent messaging: A PR agency can help ensure that your company’s messaging is consistent across all channels, from press releases to social media updates. This can help reinforce your brand identity and build credibility with your target audience.

If you’re still with me, thank you! I know that was a lot to take in! Our goal at Birdie is always to be as helpful as possible so you can make the best decisions for your business. You should be as excited about hiring a PR agency as you are about hiring your dream employee or landing your dream collaboration. Ultimately, partnering with the right PR agency can be a game-changer, helping to elevate your brand, generate buzz, and foster long-term success.


And of course! If you have any questions at all, you know where to find us! I would love to hear from you! 



@birdiepublicrelations on Instagram 

And via email at info@birdiepublicrelations.com


Thank you! Xo 



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