Up until a few years ago, PR was placed upon a pedestal where it functioned alone, unsullied by other forms of marketing. Reyna Jagtiani and Gauri Nayar of Twain Communications quickly realised that one without the other just didn’t make sense. Together, they have worked with some of the biggest names in the world and are experts in sharing the stories of their clients in compelling ways. We caught up with the duo to pick their brains about their business.
What has PR traditionally meant and what does it mean to you today?
PR used to be all about media relations. Today, it's a hand-in-hand mix of media outreach, marketing, and collaborations. For a brand to have long-term recall in an already crowded market, it's crucial that it focuses on a multi-pronged approach, that will ensure eyeballs and buzz building across all the mediums that potential consumers are typically getting their news from. Good PR helps cultivate loyalty, and loyalty allows brands to flourish.
When is the right time to start on your PR as a small business?
No time is a bad time. The beauty of PR is that we're able to help a client stretch their budget in ways that advertising cannot typically do. This is why we've been able to work with clients right from the get-go, as they're starting off. Some clients have a natural knack for communications which allows them to build the framework of their brand on their own; others need a bit of hand-holding from the very start. If a brand is in need of help, we would recommend they engage with a PR agency they trust, from the start, as together they can build the brand with a combined vision that will be most marketable.
"PR agencies should be open with their clients about what they can offer and what is unrealistic, in terms of outcome."
What are the biggest PR mistakes many companies make?
Not being honest and transparent with the clients they represent. The PR business is rapidly changing, and it's becoming increasingly more difficult to see the kinds of results that clients want. PR agencies should be open with their clients about what they can offer and what is unrealistic, in terms of outcome. It's great to have a wish list, but aligning expectations between the client and the PR agency is key. It is also imperative to explain the PR landscape right from the get-go and explain the new avatar of PR that goes beyond media relations, which has now taken over.
How can you decide which PR tools are the best to use for your business?
A PR agency is best positioned to answer this question and the answer will vary from business to business. That said, it is important to have very strong 'owned media' in terms of collateral so that a clear communication is already in place whenever a brand is ready to go out to the public. Owned media consists of brand write ups, spokesperson profiles, a brand narrative with strong value propositions and high-resolution imagery.
What has the experience of running a small business yourself, been like over the past five years?
It's been a whirlwind, with many challenges, but certainly a greater upside. Being entrepreneurs means navigating the often stormy, tumultuous waters that running a small business involves - especially in a client-facing industry like ours. However, we get to be creative, come up with concepts that are entirely our own, and show up to a job we love - that's something that not very many people get to say! Our greatest asset is our partnership - having someone to work with every day who you respect and trust is everything, and we're very lucky to have found that in each other. It has added an incredible lightness to an otherwise very stressful industry.