PR agencies are responsible for creating and telling a brand’s story, as well as protecting its reputation. It’s therefore essential for firms to develop an exceptional team, so they can successfully execute strategies, grow a brand’s recognition, and ensure client satisfaction.
Here’s how to create a strong PR team in 2020:
Diversify your talent
If you want to acquire multiple clients throughout the years, you’ll need a diverse array of talent on staff. You must, therefore, make it your mission to hire subject matter experts who can grow your business from strength to strength.
For example, you should hire a team of former journalists, graphic designers, social media marketers, and content writers, as they will have different backgrounds, knowledge and experience.
You also should hire employees who have an in-depth understanding of your business and, if possible, have formed strong relationships with editors, journalists, business professionals, etc.
Host social events
It is imperative for team bonding, productivity, and, in turn, profitability for your employees to develop positive relationships. For this reason, you should organise various social activities for your team to enjoy. For example, you could ask your staff members to join you for after-work drinks, which will provide your employees with an opportunity to get to know one another in a casual setting and strengthen their relationships.
You could even host a fun poker tournament once the working day is done, which will allow your team members to showcase their bluffing skills when playing Omaha hi-lo or Texas Holdem. It’s the perfect way for staff to let their hair down, have some fun and even unleash their competitive side.
If, however, live poker doesn’t sound ideal for your staff, you could always organize a team meal at a local restaurant so that you could enjoy good food and conversation. Close friendships aren’t only good for productivity, but they can boost morale and decrease your company’s turnover too.
Listen to and learn from feedback
Many companies make the mistake of ignoring feedback, which can lead to a pattern of client dissatisfaction and inefficiency. It is smart to both listen to and learn from your clients’ comments, as well as feedback from the press, bloggers, data analysts and more. Many will often receive feedback from their readers regarding an article, which could provide insights into your content execution, PR strategies and reputation management service.
Encourage internal communication and collaboration
Teamwork can lead to greater productivity and efficiency, which can result in happy clients and bigger annual revenue. For this reason, you must encourage your staff to both communicate and collaborate on various projects.
For example, you should instruct different departments to talk to each other, listen to ideas and respond to questions promptly. By doing so, you could develop a creative team, minimise frustration and execute a PR strategy at a faster rate.
To encourage communication, you should:
- Recommend face-to-face meetings
- Provide effective communication tools(e.g., task management software, chat tools, private group messaging, an internal intranet, etc.)
- Host weekly meetings
- Create social breakout zones for conversations
- Request staff consider their verbal and non-verbal language (e.g., tone of voice, body language, manners, etc.)
Also, encourage your team members to be clear in their communications. A 2014 Gallup poll found that 46 percent of employees rarely or never finish an internal meeting knowing what they are meant to do next, which can lead to lower productivity and frustration.
Foster a learning culture
Every PR professional should take the time to increase their knowledge and skillset. After all, the internet is continually changing, social media is growing in both size and behavior, and a brand’s reputation could be destroyed by a single review.
It is, therefore, wise for your employees to familiarise themselves with the latest reputation management tactics, SEO trends, and article ideas, which could help you to develop more effective PR strategies for your clients. If money allows, you also could provide various online training courses or university degrees, which can help your staff to build on their strengths and remove any weaknesses.
Regularly engage with your team
Your employees aren’t just a number in your database. Their experience, knowledge, and insights will be integral to your PR company’s success, which is why you must listen to their opinions and host brainstorming sessions to come up with new and exciting ideas. The statistics speak for themselves, as a Gallup poll recently found that 75% of workers chose to voluntarily leave their jobs because of their boss and not their position.
Regularly engaging with your team might not only help you to develop an innovative PR firm, but also make your staff feel appreciated. Consequently, they will work harder for your business and will be less likely to hand in their notice.
Provide employee perks
Your hard-working employees could become the biggest advocates for your business, but they will only do so if you treat them well throughout the years. If you want to reduce your staff turnover, improve your reputation, and attract a high caliber of talent that blows your competition out the water, you should provide your team with regular perks and benefits.
For instance, you could offer:
- An annual bonus
- Extra holidays
- A free gym membership
- Free food and drink
- Flexible working opportunities
Give your team a break
A strict office environment can lead to rising stress levels, low morale and high employee turnover. For this reason, you should ensure your staff members regularly take a break.
For example, you could provide board games, sofas, beanbag chairs and TVs, which will allow them to relax their mind and body in between projects. You also should encourage your team to routinely take a break throughout the working day to grab a bite to eat, call a loved one, catch-up on the latest news or even play a game on their smartphones, such as Candy Crush, online poker or solitaire. It’s a sure-fire way to create a happy, loyal workforce.
Developing a strong PR team can take a great deal of time and hard work. In an ideal world, your employees would instantly bond, clearly communicate and work together as one unit. However, you might need to encourage positive relationships by organizing social events, such as Texas holdem poker evenings or after-work drinks and stress the importance of communication and collaboration.
What’s more, you could develop an effective team by diversifying your pool of talent, fostering a learning culture and routinely engaging with your employees.