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Rudyard Kipling says ‘If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same...' - it's an approach businesses should take the same approach to PR.

There will always be good and bad news and every business should be equally ready to handle both professionally and efficiently, to make the most of each triumph and minimise the impact of any disaster.

So let’s look at how PR benefits a business. It increases awareness and changes attitudes among key audiences. Independent agencies are particularly useful when crafting these messages, ensuring they reach the target market through a variety of relevant channels. This provides results that are engaging, relevant and deliver immediate impact. With so many opportunities to interact with a brand or company online and offline, businesses must investigate how to turn this into actionable behaviour. Creating rich, tailored content is key, allowing brands to engage with consumers by telling a meaningful story rather than through repetitive advertising.

A comprehensive communications plan is also necessary for dealing with an unforgiving media and unexpected catastrophes. We all know of disasters, those who have disastrously misjudged their impact and those who have benefited from their expert handing. Regardless of industry sector, the world of business is now more cut throat and competitive than ever. In order to not just survive, but thrive, careful consideration must be given to a comprehensive communications strategy, ensuring proactive public engagement as well as expertly crafted responses to an emerging crisis. Media coaching is now a must-do of modern business engagement. This allows spokespeople to delicately navigate the most treacherous minefields with the utmost confidence. It also teaches a company representative to think on their feet, at ease with unusual or problematic curveball questions.

When deciding on a communications agency, particular consideration has to be given to sector experience. Ensure a PR agency has a successful track record in your sector, with an understanding of the market, the media and the target audience. What’s more, agencies can go beyond delivering media exposure by supporting the wider marketing and sales strategy. Using their contacts, a PR expert could facilitate introductions between your company’s personnel and important media contacts, possibly leading to a new media partnership, business opportunity or new hire. When integrated effectively, an independent communications agency can becomes an extension of a client’s team, yet provide the benefit of a valuable, fresh perspective.

With the right communications team and the right distribution vehicle, any campaign can be successful and any storm weathered.

By John Starr, managing director of Clareville Communications