In the world of PR, good public relations practice knowledge is only a part of the range of skills your agency should have. Media knowledge and strong journalist relationships and the ability to scribe the highest quality grammar are two other facets. But perhaps the most beneficial skill to the client is a good understanding and working knowledge of the client’s products and technology. As an extreme example, if a PR professional demonstrated exemplary creative writing skills and had an in depth knowledge of high-end French cosmetics, but worked for a client who designed and manufactured integrated CMOS timing devices there would be serious problems..!
In this scenario, it is likely that the client would spend significant amounts of time coming up with ideas and writing content with the PR company just correcting his grammar – not good use of the PR budget. Understanding the client’s technology not only enables the creation of quality written material with minimal briefing, but also means that the PR company, as they indeed should, brings innovative ideas for content and campaigns to the table.
So while the fact remains that no-one can be a ‘specialist in everything’, the need for PR agencies that focus on specific market sectors prevails. This has to be the case otherwise clients can end up doing the majority of the hard work themselves!