As holiday shopping shifts into full gear, many companies’ PR departments are making their 2013 wish lists, filled with ideas, projects, campaigns, goals, and deliverables.
When the list is complete, they may discover that their current workshop of elves isn’t large enough to complete the tasks. If your organization is one of these, then the questions you need to ask are:
- Should we expand our staff?
- Do we need to hire consultants?
- Should we bring on a firm?
- Do we need to shorten our list?
For these projects—big and small, there’s a segment of PR professionals within PRSA-NCC that can add tremendous value and experience. These are the members of the Independent Public Relations Alliance, a group of 63 entrepreneurs who own their own small or solo PR firms.
These “indies” have impressive credentials; with experience in many disciplines and industry sectors. In fact, many held leadership roles before starting their own businesses in corporations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
These seasoned pros average 24 years of experience, nearly half have advanced degrees, and many hold APRs, according to IPRA’s October 2012 member survey.
IPRA member firms use various models to conduct their business. Some act as subcontractors to other firms, some work alone, and some put together customized teams for each client. Most “indies” offer full-service PR—which includes strategic communications planning, issues management, writing, branding, media relations, speechwriting, social media and marketing. Many have specialties by issue area, skill and industry.
Flexibility is a key word for IPRA members. “IPRA-ers” are very flexible in terms of what they can offer clients and enjoy the life of an indie with flexible hours. This flexibility also is reflected in how IPRA-ers work: by the hour, by the project or on retainer. In addition to flexibility, members also cited senior level experience at competitive prices as advantages of hiring an independent practitioner. Customers agree as IPRA member firms have been in business nine years on average.
As your organization’s wish list grows this holiday season, consider starting your shopping spree at the IPRA web site, which has a searchable database to help find the perfect match for your PR needs. The quality of the talent, products and services of an IPRA member may provide just the jingle you need to make 2013 a happy new year.
2012 IPRA Chair
President, Creative Strategies PR
Creative Strategies gives ideas life through strategic, creative, and effective communications. We provide a range of PR services, including our specialty: media relations.