What price expertise?
Sector specialist or not – is often a dilemma faced by clients on the lookout for a new PR agency – do you go for the ‘industry expert’ or a generalist with a spread of clients across many sectors?
Truth is, whilst the principals and applications of PR are the same, for the more technical or B2B sectors, like construction, the time-served knowledge and skill sets of those PR practitioners who work with clients within the desired sector can make all the difference.
For starters, the learning curve is less steep, which means they will be up-to-speed far more quickly and able to return on your investment. Also, an important point – less time spent amending or correcting what should be intrinsic knowledge for the sector.
And it is worth noting that the industry specialists will also have a good working relationship with the media in which you seek to appear; they will know what those publications are looking for in terms of style, content and technical level, so will maximise the chances of your PR being published.
Of course, there is something to be said too about the cross-sector experience a broad-spectrum PR agency can offer. The fresh ideas that have worked in other sectors can be useful, but most sector specialists have enough of a spread of clients to reproduce this too.
To use a medical analogy, a GP can identify the problem, but it is the specialist that will often confirm the diagnosis and propose a potential cure!