CNBC has reported that even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has been on the rise with the trend now accelerating even further. Companies are realizing they are no longer tied to traditional office spaces, nor dependent on local vendors and consultants.
Brands are increasingly empowered to go beyond local options when hiring public relations representation. In many cases, they can find consultants and agencies from anywhere in the country to accommodate their specific needs. With remote work on the rise and technology capabilities becoming more efficient, physical location has plunged in priority during the agency selection process.
Instead, brands have a plethora of agencies to choose from. Now, brands can do their due diligence and find an agency specializing in the industries, service capabilities and pricing models that best fit their needs.
As remote work grows in popularity, brands are looking past local agencies in favor of niche agencies with a specialized industry focus.
The era of virtual collaboration
Working from home has become increasingly popular over the years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has shattered the stigma surrounding it, likely for good. Researchers predict that remote work software will continue to increase in efficiency and soon become a preferred method of communication over face-to-face meetings.
Video conferencing applications such as Zoom make it possible for brands to connect with their agencies from wherever they are, saving face-to-face communication for special occasions. Live video chats help teams from various locations connect in real time from anywhere with an internet connection. Now, more than ever, collaboration between leadership, marketing teams and public relations agencies can easily be done virtually as technology continuously evolves.
With remote collaboration on the rise, it is now easier than ever for brands to hire a public relations agency from anywhere in the country and make them a bona fide part of the team.
Remote capabilities supply the resources to connect with agencies from other locations that can offer the exact services they need. Instead of choosing a local, generalist agency, brands are emboldened to hire a niche agencies with a service model tailored to their specific industry needs.
Niche vs. local
If local publicity is the primary goal, then local agencies may be attractive, especially if they have an established track record for driving local press for similar brands. A public relations agency primarily working on local campaigns will be more likely to have an established rolodex of media contacts in their given locality than a firm located on the other side of the country.
Niche firms typically are more efficient in serving procedural needs, such as compliance mandates, as experience in the industry prepares them for the nuances to come and how to handle them. They are also more likely to have a rolodex of national and trade publication media relationships and know the most effective publications to build brand credibility which, when integrated into existing marketing systems, can be leveraged to target markets local and nationwide.
Niche agencies are constantly staying up to date with industry trends, and as a result, they tend to be extremely effective in connecting the brands they represent to sophisticated trends and breaking news stories within a given industry.
Finding an ideal fit
With a quick Google search, brands can find various agencies worldwide. While local firms have the benefit of being able to meet face-to-face, brands want an agency who understands their industry and their target audience.
For example, a wealth management firm seeking a national stage will likely work with an agency specializing in financial services, rather than a local agency offering services to them, but also the yoga studio down the road. Niche agencies are able to reproduce proven models of similar campaigns they have executed in similar markets, making the decision to choose a niche agency an easy one.
As public relations agencies continue to evolve to include remote services and many are taking the initiative to specialize, brands have many options. Luckily, nationwide options allow brands the ability to choose a firm that can deliver maximum results with confidence.
Andrea Mazzola is an Account Executive at Flackable, a national, full-service public relations agency headquartered in Philadelphia. To learn more, please visit www.flackable.com.