Today we have a discussion with PR Expert and Founder of The Rose Agency, Alexann Brown. The Rose Agency is a boutique public relations agency that strives to advance its client’s brand visibility and recognition through advanced media presence. Based in South Florida, The Rose Agency extends its services to professional athletes, non-profit organizations and lifestyle brands. The agency aims to connect clients to their core audience and be their “voice” through public communication.
- How has COVID-19 specifically affected boutique public relations agencies?
Speaking for myself, the coronavirus as well as the pandemic has affected my business tremendously. As a boutique public relations agency, we operate on a smaller scale compared to larger agencies. Losing a client is one thing but when you have multiple clients that have to scale back on their campaigns or stop services all together, it’s devastating. I don’t think anyone was prepared or even considered the aftermath of COVID-19. Through it all, we remain operating by developing new strategies to assist our clients as well as extending our services. As an expert, the pandemic has pushed myself and my team to tap into our creative side and implement the best strategies for our client’s success.
- What are some strategies you feel agencies can implement to stay in operation at this time?
I think it’s important for agencies to evolve and adapt to our current climate. For example, because of the coronavirus, majority of in-person events were switched to online events. Virtual concerts and festivals were hosted by top-selling artists and entertainers. Because we are restricted on what we can do at this time, PR professionals have to think outside of the box and come up with opportunities to keep their client relevant. For example, when securing interviews for your client, ask the journalist if they would like to conduct the interview on Zoom. Also consider extending your services. If your agency doesn’t offer social media services, consider adding it as a separate service fee.
- You mentioned that your clientele consists of professional athletes, non-profit organizations and lifestyle brands. How has your PR campaign dynamic changed for the niches you serve?
I definitely adjusted my strategy and tactics for each client’s campaign due to the pandemic. For example, the professional athletes I work with have sports camps for the youth in the summer. Some athletes decided to postpone their camp until next year and others wanted to develop a virtual camp experience. It was difficult at first to create a virtual camp experience that still felt like an in-person experience. Some thoughts I had when working on the virtual camp campaigns were if the children will still participate and will expectations be met. Overall, the mindset I applied was to make the best out of the situation and when life gives you lemon, make lemonade.
For the non-profit organizations and lifestyle brands we serve, I believe that our overall PR campaign is the same when it comes to the initiatives but how we execute those initiatives have changed.
Lastly, I think it goes back to my initial point that it’s essential to adapt and evolve with the current climate. We are not in control of the changes taking place however, we are in control of our own creativity and creating opportunities that align with those changes.
- With societal changes, it seems brands are leaning more towards social media for visibility and awareness. Do you feel there’s still a need for traditional public relations?
I believe it’s important to recognize the role social media plays in the communications industry. Ultimately, I think traditional public relations serves its own role and is still needed today. When it comes to a brand’s presence and connecting with their target audience, social media is the space for that. However, when it comes to building credibility and a reputation for a brand, traditional public relations tactics work best.
- As we approach 2021 in a few months, what are some ways brands can adapt a public relations strategy?
In preparation for the new year, I think it’s important for brands to do a full evaluation. This can be done by conducting a SWOT analysis. Once completed, brands can identify their strengths and develop a public relations strategy that heightens what’s working for their business. I also think it’s important for brands to speak with PR experts. Hiring a professional can positively impact your brand and bring more awareness to your overall goals.
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