Your business: how to open a PR agency
In general, the concept of PR, like much in this country, has long been distorted. What does this word mean today? It does not occur to anyone to associate PR with the phrase “public relations”, although this is a direct translation of the English phrase “public relations”, from which, in fact, the abbreviation PR has been derived. Ivy Lee’s ideas were revised by modern specialists, and the provisions on “PR” lost the most important thing – the principle of two-way communication, when not only the company / person forms his image in the eyes of consumers / population, but also receives information from them when the interests of all society as a whole. The PR-agency in Russia does not do this, because it is occupied by propaganda (although, strictly speaking, it must be engaged in agitation, because propaganda mostly refers to advertising tools), and even distorts the ideas of E. Bernays. In general, if we understand PR as a direct value, then there are practically no agencies in this direction in Russia, and the level of competition is minimal. Another thing is that “real” PR agencies are not needed by anyone, and only PR people are valued.
That is, it becomes immediately clear that anyone who knows well what propaganda can work in the field of public relations. In general, those companies that have some problems with attracting consumers turn to PR managers, otherwise they need a specialist who promises to correct a negative image and create a good perception of a product or service in the public opinion. Now we need to elaborate on the qualities of a person who decided to open his own PR-agency. In many cases, today it is not opened by specialists of this profile who have received appropriate training, but by people who have worked in related fields. Advertising, marketing in general, journalism, just people who have a lot of connections with rich and powerful people. About the same Ivy Lee heard only advertisers and marketers in the first courses, but already had time to forget his ideas, and journalists faced in their work, superficially studying issues of public relations. That is, a normal idea of what PR really does not have, perhaps, is half of the working agencies, and enterprises working in this sphere in small cities even have little idea what kind of direction they have chosen. This is because PR is fashionable, and ideally brings profit to the customer (and, therefore, to the performer, PR man). But it is not uncommon for such offices in small cities to simply bill their customers monthly for fictitious work, because sales do not grow because of the PR activity, but due to the economic growth of the client company. And if they do not grow, you can always refer to something, saying that the problem is more serious than expected, and demand more money. If the customer refuses – it is easy to find another.
In progressive Moscow and to a lesser extent in some other cities there are undoubtedly good PR agencies that employ professionals who really change the situation on the market, but otherwise there is not too good development of this field of human activity. And if you know about some of the provisions and naturally study the science of public relations, you can get an important advantage by selling not only your services to customers, but also promoting products / services of the customer among the population, which should also be done by PR.
We will not describe in detail how a firm is registered – the procedure is standard, it is desirable to issue a legal entity, because future customers are more likely to trust the firm than the individual entrepreneur. Any permits are not required, after registering with the tax authorities, you can actually begin work.
Here it is important to understand that a company must be opened by people who are well versed in this area, they become founders and must be prepared for the fact that at first there will not be big profits, and sometimes in the first months there is an excess of expenses over income. The PR-agency should be engaged in its own promotion, and until the time passes (it should be calculated in a business plan, and according to three standard scenarios – a bad market situation, a normal market situation, a great market situation), you need to have reserve funds for pay office rent and wages to employees.
In general, it is theoretically possible to open a PR-agency without serious investments, that is, sometimes one person is a company, and he works at home, preferring to negotiate with clients in a neutral territory or in their office. But a real PR specialist, like no one, needs to understand that to bring a company to the market and to get some reputation, money and time, time and money are needed, no level of education will help you quickly and free of charge to get a huge number of clients.