In order to find out more about the role of a strategic public relations agency and its place in PR as well, let us talk about a strategy in public relations. A strategy involves a "big picture" - an overall plan, how a campaign will achieve organizational goals and objectives. It involves deciding who important publics are and which of them will be recipients of messages. Thus, a strategic public relations agency helps determine how an organization (its client) will be positioned; it decides how important publics will learn about an organization and how it can help them. It will provide avenues of discovery to facilitate this.
A strategic public relations agency will create a reason for an audience to believe and support an organization, and it will help develop a consistent message and focus for an organization to uphold.
Almost every public relations agency has its own strategy that must be considered on its own merits and must be a viable option to be judged on its own strengths - one that definitely will solve the problem. Any approaches that will not solve the problem independently should be eliminated. If a combination of approaches can solve the problem, consider the combination as a strategic alternative. Each alternative strategy should attain all audience objectives. All pros and cons of each strategy should be considered, and in the process, options are more easily identified.
Identifying business risks and opportunities creates a chance to exercise an informed judgment. Viable options are vital - knowing each option's advantages and disadvantages will enable a decision-making process, based on facts instead of emotions. A strategic public relations agency can use the so called "push-pull strategy" in its work with the clients. The Push-Pull Strategy is not a new concept; it has been around for a while. Its two components - the Push Strategy and the Pull Strategy - can be utilized either exclusively or in a combination, and it is probably more useful to discuss each separately, since the Push-Pull simply is a combination of these two.
Although often thought of as marketing tools, both the push and pull principles fit very well into the public relations model and are used in strategic campaigns to determine the efficacy of persuasive methods. There is one of the earliest definitions of public relations, "Public relations is doing good things and talking about it." Following this definition, the Pull Strategy has "doing good things" in its heart, and the Pull Strategy is more concerned with the "talking about it" element. The Push strategy uses the benefiting organization's communications channels and influencing audiences to convince potential supporters that it is in their best interest to join your organization or support its causes.
You generally will be communicating with a large group of potential supporters and will choose from a gamut of communications tools in the Push Strategy. It is everything from brochures to direct mail, from newsletters to phone calls, from speeches to exhibits, from email to websites.
Basically, the purpose of push is to get the word out about an organization or a cause. Finally, the Push-Pull Strategy is a combination of two strategies - planning and timing "pull" initiatives with "push" initiatives. Therefore, good public relations do not happen by accident. A good plan is a requisite first step toward implementing winning, proactive communications strategies. Due to this, companies need a strategic public relations agency to develop or to improve a communications plan with results-oriented, creative communications strategies.