TOP STORY : What a journalist judges PR Agency?

Be important like prestige of a person, brand name is a vital issue for any enterprise with strong and stable development orientation, especially in widely-spread development of information and increasingly intelligent and hard-to-please customers. They buy an item not only for its usage, but for its brand value and spiritual comfort.

 After all, the brand name is built on basis of really good nature of the products, services and excellent PR. In terms of PR, “doing PR” seems to be hot and easily-facing issue on mass media of our country now. Right, PR activity plays a big role in construction, consolidation and putting in order for values of a brand name. Small companies with limited budget often do PR for itself, vice versa big ones often select an external PR agency to take a role of strategic consultant and carry out tactics for maintenance and development of brand feelings in people’s heart.

PR tactics, in nature is the way to “transmit the wanted message to right persons”. If via press channel (printed newspaper, e-news, pictorial magazine, radio-broadcasting), a journalist is to censor information before it comes to people. Thus, the journalist plays an importantly decisive role for PR Agency.

On occasion of Vietnam's Revolutionary Press Day June 21st, 2011, Awareness ID is lucky to talk and receive many devoted judgments, sharing from rich experienced journalists from Youth Newspaper, Youth, VnExpress, Laborer Newspaper on the topic “What the journalist judges about PR Agency”. We have recorded some opinions as follows:

Question: “Prior to demand for strong development of brand name of Vietnamese enterprises now, is formation of professional PR Agency really necessary in the society?

Opinions from the journalists: Demand for PR of enterprises is big because they basically need transmit to outside to inform people that how they do well, what new thing they have. We realize that enterprises now have more knowledge on importance of information; they actively recruit PR employees to get access to a reporter and manage information of the enterprises. Enterprises with great budget sign long-term contracts with external PR Agencies for management of their image.

Question: “In addition to Awareness ID, you are sure to cooperate with other PR agencies, so what do you have general judgments on knowledge, qualifications, profession and PR agencies you have ever cooperated?

Opinions from the journalists: It is difficult for me to answer this question because to judge about an organization cannot be right now answered. Generally, we believe that qualifications of a PR company should be evaluated through management of communication, which means “to give strategic advice” to customers rather than purely enforce “communication operations” such as to organize events, make press release, take photograph, do graphics, etc under their requirements.

Question: As a journalist, how do you judge about the working manner between PR agencies and the journalist now? Are you sure there is something PR companies should pay attention to?

Opinions from journalists: PR companies quite methodologically work with the press, we have no complaints. Only something we worry:

First, maybe PR agencies solves many projects at same time, so they do not sometimes give deep press releases, but surface information, whereas the press needs new, burning and unique information.
Second, letter of invitation for the journalists to joint conference, seminar should be attached to important, core information so that the journalists conveniently orient questions in advance.
Third, should there have a media briefing for the journalists to give questions to representatives of the enterprises before the seminar occurs. This is really convenient in order to the press gives questions closer to news for people.
Fourth, many companies do not understand journalist’s working manner, particularly: one-way supply of information, which means from their customers. The important thing is to harmonize objectives of the press and of enterprises in PR.

Question: “You can work with Vietnamese and foreign PR companies, so in your opinion, which advantages and disadvantages do Vietnamese PR companies have in the domestic market?

Opinion from journalists: In terms of advantages, Vietnamese PR companies are easy to catch cultures and feelings of the citizen, so access messages are easy to go to people’s heart. In terms of disadvantages, as we mentioned, more Vietnamese PR agencies with high ranking in strategic consultancy of communications for the enterprises are required.

Question: “How are coming development opportunities of PR companies when someone said that “more and more people do PR”?

Opinions from journalists: Clearly, PR becomes a trend and up-to-date job. Our society seems to be information one, which means people have many communication channels (internet, newspapers, televisions) to search information they want (health, education, study abroad, etc).

For enterprises in particular, information play an increasingly important because bad news immediately reduces price of stocks, causing financial damages to them. The noteworthy thing is when network and telephone information is now popular; information from interior of the enterprises can be easily released, so it is necessary to manage information in professional manner. Therefore, development opportunity of PR job in general is so great and prospects of PR companies in particular in our opinions are also big. As we know, many foreign PR companies trend to penetrate in our country, so it can be seen that PR in our country is potential.

Indeed, although PR in our country has been inexperienced, just developed since 1990s, and there is no official survey on this job on wide scale, your opinions and observations partly reflect typical outline of the general picture.
Thank you for your sharing opinions! On occasion of Vietnam’s Revolutionary Press Day, Awareness ID wishes you healthy, strong in your pen to make your contributions to the domestic press development.

Bao Phuong