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WNC Business

Professional services facilitate business relationships

Jan 06, 2024 02:07PM ● By Randee Brown

Professional branding and public relations services can help businesses make a positive impact by intentionally connecting with target audiences, according to Formation PR + Brand Owner Erica Allison. 

Business owners are busy running their business. Even with a communications team, leaders often use specialized services as extensions of their own communications and marketing.

“Professional service businesses can provide mastery in certain areas,” Allison said. “Our business helps others develop a brand that goes beyond what they could develop on their own. They know themselves best, but we offer another lens through which to view it, and can implement market research data that they may not have time in their day-to-day schedule to work on.”

Branding and public relations service providers often spend a lot of time on market research. They collect data from audience surveys, participate in focus groups, attend communication workshops and leadership visioning, and partner with their clients to help them reach their end goal.

Service providers understand how to strategically communicate, and many specialize in certain industries and understand what is working in that sector. More than just a logo, a business’s brand is a visual representation of the business and who they are. It represents emotion, energy, and the value the business provides to the people they want to reach. Creating a brand narrative can help target audiences quickly grasp the brand story and messaging.

Public relations services can help organizations create talking points to arm their team or board members so everyone interacts with their audience with a level of consistency. It is important for industries and large clients to be able to utilize services that can refine and define the business’s messaging, and position that brand to reach their audiences in a meaningful way.

Local expertise can be important for some companies and organizations. Allison said some of their clients choose them because they know the region and its unique attributes. Clients in other regions may choose them because of their expertise in certain industries and their commitment to understanding the vertical market.

“There are so many nuances to each region and its culture,” Allison said. “Each community has its own culture and personality, and it’s important that the branding business you choose to work with understands that.”

The traditional definition of public relations is managing the relationship between an organization and its audience. PR companies provide more than press releases; they produce thought leadership pieces, help create stories, and help businesses find their wow factor and unique selling proposition. They think about what is important to the business’s audience and weave in those aspects when producing content.

“It’s all about storytelling and where we can align them,” Allison said. “Not everything is newsworthy, so it may be more helpful to write blogs or newsletter content, as that type of media communicates directly with a company’s audience.”

Storytelling can also be helpful in annual reports. PR professionals work to make sure they are capturing the right stories that have an impact on the community. Ongoing monitoring of what people are saying about their clients allows professionals to help determine what may be the most important aspects to address. 

Crisis communication is something business leaders should keep in mind as well, according to Allison. Working with a professional to take inventory of weaknesses and vulnerabilities can be a proactive approach to managing situations in a way that reflects businesses in a positive light.

The progression of business growth in the region is creating many opportunities for those in the professional service industry. With more businesses locating here, service businesses can easily get their name out by networking and maintaining an online presence. As there is plenty of work to go around, professionals can find clients that are the right match and align with their values and culture. By helping local businesses and organizations be successful, Allison said it helps the entire region to be successful. 

“These relationships are aspects of human connection that AI will not replace,” Allison said. “It takes time to understand the nuances of clients, and while AI may be able to write a nice sentence, it cannot really represent clients’ deep relationships with the community. Branding and public relations professionals can do that much better.”