Repute PR in the news
A revolutionary new firm is blurring the lines between the law and PR
Here’s how Repute PR is shaking up the public relations industry for the better.
Reputation is everything today. From politicians to celebrities to big business to you and me, our digital reputations determine our fate. A negative online image can cost us jobs, profits, relationships, and employees.
Repute PR, a unique Manhattan-based public relations firm, is revolutionizing publicity for this modern age and, in turn, might just be redefining the industry.
Merging the fields of law, public relations, and reputation management, Repute goes against traditional models for PR firms.
“We built this new model out of necessity,” says Ryan Blanch, founder of Repute PR and criminal defense attorney and founder of The Blanch Law Firm. “We found that our legal clients, even after being cleared of charges, took strong hits to their reputations.”
Blanch says that this made it difficult for clients to continue their careers, businesses, or even personal relationships. These clients deserved to be able to rebuild their lives, he says, but they needed help.
“When there is too much negative information about you or your brand on that all-important first page of a google search, it can destroy you,” Blanch says. “These clients did not know where to turn. Traditional PR agencies didn’t have the specialized legal knowledge necessary to represent them the right way, and most traditional law firms aren’t engaged with PR. In fact, the old story is that lawyers and PR professionals are at odds with each other.”
To offer these clients a fighting chance at rebuilding their lives, Blanch turned that old story on its head.
He and his team got to work on creating a hybrid law/public relations/reputation management firm. And because they understood the complexities of the law and the courtroom and how to push forward when these things get ugly, he says, they could build Repute PR into something that gives an advantage to clients facing legal crises. An advantage, he believes, that other more generalized PR firms don’t have.
“We know how to build a brand back better than before by addressing both the legal side and the public relations side,” says Blanch. “This is fairly unique in two industries that often work on parallel journeys but not together.”
Public relations, as Blanch’s clients discovered, is an increasingly necessary element of marketing today, and because of that, the industry has grown exponentially in the past few years. Valued at $14 billion globally in 2016, the value is expected to reach almost $100 billion this year.
And with over 8,548 public relations firms in the United States alone, prospective PR clients are presented with an overwhelming choice of options. All those options, however, may still not meet a client’s niche needs.
But because clients also now have the advantage of choosing from agencies located almost anywhere in the country, they are more likely to find something close to what they are looking for. Thanks to the new normal of remote work, it’s just as viable for a regional business to hire a firm located hundreds of miles away, as it is to use the PR pros down the road.
Brands are also more likely to hire a specialist who meets their specific needs than a generalist. For example, a wealth management firm looking for national exposure is more likely to work with an agency specializing in financial services, rather than a local agency offering general PR.
An idea that Blanch and his team are counting on, is that in the crowded field of public relations, being a specialist has become more important, and more profitable than ever.
With the unique and relatively novel niche of a PR/legal/reputation management hybrid, Repute PR is blazing a trail for even more unique hybrid specialties to come.
Targeted PR firms for the beauty, food and health care industries are already a growing segment of the booming PR arena. It’s only a matter of time before agencies develop around other, more highly nuanced specialties.
And with staffing cuts meaning fewer journalists, one reporter at a media outlet may be tasked with doing the work of what was once a whole crew. This makes it harder for PR pros to catch the attention of these often overworked, bordering on burnt-out writers. To a journalist bombarded by press releases, a specialized firm’s distinctive strategy could be the stand out amongst the crowd.
“With so much digital noise out there, we work hard to be heard above the din,” says Repute’s Blanch. “Establishing a trusted and close relationship with journalists, media outlets, and our clients’ legal teams, we carefully strategize a plan to grow clients’ visibility with target audiences. And to favorably highlight the client’s side of the story.”
A PR firm that understands the complexities of a legal crisis and has the ability to navigate through it does seem distinctly valuable today as court cases become national news stories, from Harvey Weinstein to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
Not beholden to the traditional public relations or law firm models, Repute PR has a distinctly modern edge in a fast-evolving industry. Blanch says that by blurring the lines between PR and legal, Repute affords its clients a tremendous opportunity.
“Brands need people more than people need brands,” he says. “It’s crucial to tap into the power of the media and social influence to transform reputations and elevate personalities and brands. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to doing our job.”
With a team of attorneys, former journalists, and experienced marketers on the task, Repute PR is setting itself up to be a force to be reckoned with. And this force, Blanch believes, is about to have a serious impact on the PR industry. Clients won’t have to navigate between legal and PR counsel. They will have the best of both worlds in one.
And that, he says, will redefine the idea of full-service PR.
“We spotted a window of opportunity and we jumped through it,” says Blanch. “Adaptability is king in any industry, and we adapted to the needs of our clients.”
That Darwinian ability to adapt is likely to be behind tomorrow’s success stories as today’s plummeting stocks, crypto volatility, and rising interest rates put many industries on pause. It could be that niche specialization, as Repute is doing inside PR, is a not-so elusive key to staying alive and moving ahead in uncertain times.