Public Relations and Content Experts Talk The Value of PR

by Tim Plamondon

Group of talent leaders reading content showing public relations in action.

Companies that blend public relations (PR) and marketing can create a positive perception of their brand. Research from Cision + DemandGen found that companies engaging in PR are 89 percent more likely to be perceived as a high-quality brand, Christine Van Timmeren, Director of Content at Clear Edge Marketing, said during our RPO Leadership webinar hosted by RPOA Executive Director Lamees Abourahma. Joining Van Timmeren on the webinar was her colleague Ann Warren, Vice President of Public Relations at Clear Edge Marketing, and together, they showed how companies can effectively integrate PR and marketing to create a positive brand image and grow revenue. Below is a recap of their presentation. 

Amp up your and your clients’ current marketing and recruitment efforts, check out the webinar today!


What is Public Relations (PR)

Van Timmeren defines PR as creating and maintaining an organization's public image. It's about how people view your organization and making connections between it and various audiences. Warren added that PR is patiently, thoughtfully, and intentionally building long-lasting relationships with people who can help create and maintain an organization's public image. Key people to make these strong relationships with, she said, include reporters, analysts, and influencers in your industry, 

The list of ways to execute good PR and build these strong relationships is varied. Van Timmeren shared that, in some cases, PR can capitalize on an event, a crisis, a product launch, or a speaking engagement. She pointed out that other PR tactics include ways to be proactive and stay relevant in the marketplace, including securing reporter-written articles, doing podcast and TV interviews, writing bylined articles, and media mentions, to name a few.

Benefits of PR

Van Timmeren and Warren provided six essential benefits of PR. These benefits include: 

  1. Build Credibility and Awareness: Media coverage, speaking events, or a podcast informs the marketplace and creates awareness about your organization. For example, when the media covers your organization in a favorable light, that third-party validation powerfully builds credibility.

  2. Supports New Business: When a publication quotes your organization's CEO, or your company wins an award, this helps create new business. Showcasing wins and thought leadership is essential when talking with potential clients and qualified leads.

  3. Improves Market Positioning: PR elements such as media coverage, influencers, and analysts talking about your company, speaking opportunities, press releases, and awards work together to build a favorable image of your organization and improve its influence in the market.

  4. Strengthens Loyalty: The more robust and engaging your brand, the more loyal your customers will be to you.

  5. Enhances Recruitment Efforts: Candidates looking for new career opportunities with various companies use Google. If on Google, they find media mentions in trending articles, if they see their targeted company winning multiple awards, and if the company publishes news via press releases, this will paint a picture of a relevant, active, and strong company. As a result, these candidates are more likely to apply for open positions at your firm or proactively ask about possible career opportunities. 

  6. Bolsters Investor Relations:  A strong company image and robust messaging to investors will drive valuation.

Measuring The Effects of PR

The challenge of measuring the effects of PR is that it doesn't lead to immediate results like an increase in call volume or tangible metrics of readership. However, Van Timmerman and Warren noted that companies can make quantitative and qualitative measurements of the impact of their PR efforts.

On the quantitative side, Van Timmeren shared that companies can measure the influence of the release of a press article or an interview on website traffic using Google Analytics. Companies can also measure their 'share of voice, ' which is the presence of a company in the media compared to its competitors. Increased share of voice over time, she said, is considered a positive outcome. Also, strategic keywords are an important aspect of PR activities. By incorporating these keywords in media placements, companies can enhance their visibility on search engine page results, specifically Google.

Along with quantitative measurements, Warren emphasized the importance of qualitative indicators in evaluating the influence of PR. She highlighted the advantages of having your company mentioned in media placements. These advantages include making a positive impression on prospective clients and getting noticed by industry influencers and event leaders. She also noted that "coverage begets coverage," where one media placement leads to more. 

Warren further explained the critical actions for post-publication of media placement. These steps include heavy promotion on social media, a strategy for reposting multiple times and tracking long-term outcomes like search result ranking and forming new relationships. Media coverage and PR activities working in tandem, she said, can positively affect business in various ways.

Here, she elaborates on the strong value of media placement.


What Does PR Look Like For Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) Companies?

Van Timmeren and Warren next discussed the positives for RPO companies using PR. Warren highlighted the PR tactics RPO providers can use to attract potential buyers. RPO companies can create thought leadership content ranging from trends in the labor market, recruiting, hiring, and talent acquisition to scaling workforce strategies. She also suggested PR tactics that target specific industries. RPO providers should familiarize themselves with the talent market in the particular sector they want to affect positively; for instance, if an RPO wants work within the pharmaceutical industry, it can suggest story ideas to publications within that industry. 

Van Timmeren noted that RPO companies can build general brand awareness by pitching story ideas to various business publications and providing quotes for articles. She also suggested that RPO companies apply for industry awards from organizations such as the RPOA and others to increase brand visibility.

RPO providers can also use PR with marketing campaigns by pitching key findings of significant reports or news of product launches to reporters and distributing press releases about these. Such actions could be timed to coincide with industry events to generate excitement. She advised using press releases to announce C-suite promotions of new products/services, highlight company successes and future plans, and promote new initiatives. She also emphasized the value of providing data to journalists, underlining that an overwhelming majority of journalists want data, including original research and trend data, and that giving this can be a successful strategy for securing media coverage.

How RPO Companies Can Use Their Client's PR Efforts For Recruiting

Van Timmeren accentuated that RPO providers can and should use clients' PR efforts to assist in recruiting. This includes showcasing clients' award placements and mentioning them in the recruitment process to enhance the client's company's credibility. If a client's company wins an award, e.g., Best Place to Work, you can use this to enhance the attractiveness of the client's company to potential job candidates. It portrays the client's company caring for its employees and their careers.

Warren added that if a client has an immediate opening or sends a press release, they can share it with candidates. It allows recruiters to reconnect with candidates despite no immediate role update. Aside from improving the client's image, it also allows recruiters to do passive sourcing. She further commented that sharing instances of a client's company representatives speaking at industry events can show that the client is active in their sector. It indicates that the client possesses leaders who are innovators and speakers sought after in the industry.


PR can significantly benefit all organizations through increased awareness, engagement, and trust. It's a powerful tool for RPO companies to showcase their services, establish thought leadership, and network for new business opportunities. Set achievable goals, such as increasing brand mentions or social media engagement, and build relationships with reporters and industry leaders. Ready to leverage the power of PR? Watch our engaging webinar at the RPO Academy for more insights on incorporating PR into your marketing strategy.

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