Public Relations Specialists

Never miss a call with 24/7 live receptionists.

Capture every opportunity to grow your public relations firm when live receptionists answer your calls around the clock.
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Learn how Smith.ai can help your business. We’ll address your questions about our receptionist, chat, and campaign services.

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Here’s why businesses rely on Smith.ai

82
%

of consumers expect an immediate response to a sales inquiry

50
%

of lead generation budgets are wasted on leads who are never contacted

79
%

of marketing leads never convert into sales

67
%

of customers who receive excellent service spend up to 14% more

KEEPING UP IS IMPOSSIBLE

Incoming calls are unpredictable.

Calls come in, but you're not always available to answer them. We capture leads, book appointments, collect payments, and log details instantly in your systems.

INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY

Prepare pitches while we handle the calls.

There’s too much to do, and you can't delegate a professional public relation specialist's work. Hand off "the rest" to our receptionists. We capture leads, set appointments, and follow-up to win business.

FAST FOLLOW-UPS, DONE FOR YOU

Outreach calls and campaigns speed-up sales and support

Smith.ai receptionists make calls on your behalf, improving your speed-to-lead and unburdening staff who need to reach out to clients. We'll call-back online leads who complete web forms, contact donors for donation renewals, chase down payments on unpaid invoices, and more. We'll even send follow-up emails and texts after every call to ensure a connection is made. Learn more.

KNOW WHICH CONVERSATIONS MATTER

Powerful call intelligence gives your business the lead

Make better business decisions with real-time call data, visualized in every Smith.ai client dashboard. Every call summary is enriched with metadata including actions completed, caller disposition, priority, relevance, call recording and transcription, and more. See the big picture with historical tables and charts to predict business growth, costs, and ROI with superior accuracy.

TRUE OMNICHANNEL SOLUTION

Capture and book appointments with 24/7 Live Chat.

Keeping a public relations firm up and running effectively can be time-consuming. Our 24/7 live agents respond instantly to chats, texts, and Facebook messages so new online leads are converted while you stay focused on important work.

integrations

Smith.ai integrates with your software.

Calls, chats, appointments, and payments are automatically logged in your systems. We directly integrate with over 30 programs, including Salesforce, Hubspot, and Zapier.

Trusted by businesses &
the agencies that support them

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"Smith.ai is just excellent. My go-to receptionist team that I use and recommend to other law firms... and business owners generally!! They go above and beyond to cater their receptionist and live chat services to the specific needs of my business."
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Joey Vitale
Indie Law
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Smith.ai was stellar. They listened to me and tailored my reception service to my specific needs. They were also very good about helping me stay within my budget.
Shamia Cottrell
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My only regret about hiring Smith.ai is that I didn't make the decision sooner. They've been instrumental in helping my team operate virtually during shelter-in-place orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Littleton Legal PLLC
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I love Smith.ai! This has been a really convenient service and enabled me to focus on my work more and screen customers more effectively.
Jennifer Fabian-Verzosa

Everything You Need to Know About Public Relations Firm Answering Services

The best public relations firm answering services do much more than pick up phone calls and take messages for home and office. At Smith.ai, we provide virtual receptionists capable of a wide range of services from call handling, to scheduling, lead intake, website chat, and more. Whether you need a virtual receptionist for full-time call handling, overflow support only, after-hours, or triage, here are the answers to the most common questions we receive from public relation specialists.

What are the benefits of a public relations firm answering service?

Public relations firms usually have their team busy working on events, press releases, and similar business communication projects and unable to answer every call they receive. Lack of consistent responsiveness is likely to leave loyal clients and interested prospects hanging. In comes a reliable public relations answering service to take over where your team leaves off. A professional answering service like Smith.ai can offer public relations firms with the custom support they need it, whether that be 24/7 call answering, qualified lead screening, or top-tier appointment scheduling. With a public relations answering service working to take more off their plate, public relation specialists can get back to providing the qualified communication and marketing assistance they'd like to be known for. Below are a handful of the benefits public relations firms frequently experience with answering services like Smith.ai:

  • Expand availability

With a phone answering service that’s available morning, afternoon, and night, your clients will always have a real person to talk to, whether your firm is busy, closed, or on holiday. Your clients’ questions always receive a thoughtful response.

  • Increased leads captured  

Missed calls mean missed opportunities. Don’t lose leads just because you’re not available to answer the phone. Answering services provide 24/7, after-hours, and overflow availability so your public relations firm will never miss out on another lead.

  • Increased work productivity

Through outsourcing call handling to an answering service, you’ll be able to spend time where you need it most and focus on more important work to build your business.

  • Enhanced client satisfaction and business reputation

At Smith.ai, we know great customer service and how to deliver it for a range of business types and industries. Our virtual receptionists are trained in customer service and hospitality, so let us put best practices to work for you and deliver an exceptional and professional response that represents your business well every time.

  • Save money and time

No need to put limited time and money aside to hire an in-house receptionist when you can get all of the services you need and then some with an answering service for well over half the price. Firms who use Smith.ai can save upwards of $30,000/year on average.

  • Stay up-to-date with leads and clients

Phone answering services can send your firm detailed call summaries after each call and even provide your clients with multiple communication options, from text message to social media, so you'll always stay in contact with your most valued clients.

A public relations answering service can take tons of stress off of your shoulders, whether your business is on a budget, overwhelmed by overflow calls, or simply looking to enrich your company’s customer service. With Smith.ai’s answering service, your public relations firm can enjoy even more benefits to help your company accomplish its goals, whatever they may be.

Smith.ai’s answering service can offer public relations firms…

24/7 availability

After-hours & overflow answering

Bilingual answering

Outbound call-backs

Spam blocking

Appointment scheduling

Sales development

Payment collection

CRM Integration

Lead development

And much more…

With nearly limitless features, Smith.ai’s answering service is guaranteed to grow your company’s productivity, revenue, and outreach. Smith.ai has offered quality service to public relations firms for years and our clients trust Smith.ai to provide their business with premium support. Read our 5-star reviews to learn why public relations firms prefer Smith.ai.

How much money will I save by hiring an answering service for my public relations firm compared to an in-house receptionist?

For those in the public relations industry, "front desk" support is, of course, an absolute must-have. So when deciding between an in-house receptionist and an answering service, it's important to consider what will fit your budget. Keeping cost low and quality of work high is crucial for any business looking to bring in administrative support, but with an in-house receptionist, public relations firms might not be getting as much as they could be for what they're likely to be paying. To give you some more insight into the cost comparisons, we've compiled a list of the common expenses public relations firms can expect to spend when hiring an in-house receptionist.

The average salary nationwide for an in-house receptionist is about $37,000 and they often come with hefty, additional fees, such as:

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance, costing about $11,000/year
  • Life and disability insurance, costing about $2,000/year
  • 401K’s, retirement and pension plans, costing about $2,000/year
  • Paid sick leave, holidays, and vacations, costing about $5,500/year
  • Commuting reimbursement, costing about $5,000/year
  • Child care subsidy and parental leave, costing about $3,000/year
  • Health and wellness programs, costing about $1,000/year
  • Bonus pay, costing about $2,000/year
  • Company retreats, team bonding events, and employee outings, costing about $4,000/year
  • Free lunch, snacks, and drinks, costing about $3,500/year

Total Cost, Including Salary: $77,000/year

If your firm is located in any large city, that final price is likely to be a lot higher. And with all the time you'll have to spend onboarding and training your new hire, the costs for this in-house receptionist upfront will be enormous. And sadly, one person can only do so much, and when your receptionist inevitably comes in late, calls in sick, requests time off, takes personal leaves of absence, goes on vacation, etc., you'll be the one who pays. Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists, on the other hand, can accomplish just about the exact same amount of tasks as an in-house receptionist can, and they may even do them better. Our virtual receptionists are also much more affordable because our receptionists' benefits or salaries are never your responsibility.

Smith.ai’s answering service costs as little as $240/month, with no hidden fees. Ever. By hiring an answering service instead of an in-house receptionist, your business could save over $34,000/year on salary alone, and possibly up to $41,000/year in benefits beyond salary payments. Your firm saves big time and you'll be able to enjoy a noticeable boost in your overall productivity, lead conversion rates, and net profit. Contrary to in-house receptionists, virtual receptionists can answer calls outside of normal business hours, enabling you to capture and covert nearly 27% more leads. Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can even respond to live chats, texts, and social media messages, which is how 46% of customers prefer communicating with businesses. Your firm will finally have the bandwidth and tools it needs to reach the hundreds of potential leads you may have never known existed.

Virtual receptionist services like Smith.ai offer additional sales assistance by making outbound calls to capture potentially interested leads, which is bound to impress the over 67% of clients who base their decision to hire a business on the initial responsiveness to their call or email. Your lead conversion and retention rates will see an enormous improvement as your potential clients finally receive the timely, professional responses they expect. With Smith.ai’s reliable public relations answering service, you can reap all the benefits of an in-house receptionist without the unnecessarily high cost. Check out our article to learn more about the differences between an in-house vs. a virtual receptionist.

What common scenarios do public relations firms use virtual receptionist services for?

Public relations specialists have their schedules jam-packed. From completing daily errands to supervising general business development and growth, public relations professionals have project after project after project, leaving little to no time for anything else. With bustling work environments like this, issues often will sneak up when you least expect it, but firms who choose to bring in outsourced support instead can save themselves and their team a massive headache. A team of highly trained agents can help them effectively tackle problems as (and before) they happen. Common scenarios that we've witnessed public relations specialists require a virtual receptionist service's assistance for are:

  • I can’t afford to hire staff, but still need “front desk” support

“Front desk” support is an invaluable way to provide public relations firms with regular assistance that can help everyday operations run a lot more smoothly. When public relations firms have a limited budget, however, they may not be able to afford expensive in-house receptionists, especially when they already have to pay for office rent and supplies, marketing, and advertising.

  • I need time to focus without constant interruptions from calls

Calls come in whether your public relations firm is available to answer them or not. When team members have to answer phone calls in addition to their regular duties, they may struggle with falling behind on more important tasks and losing focus. On average, it takes about 23 minutes to get back to a task after being interrupted by a phone call.

  • My business is growing and my team can’t handle it all

Businesses grow and it can be difficult to keep up. With calls that need to be answered, appointments that need to be scheduled, and invoices that need to be sent, it’s easy for public relations teams to get overwhelmed.

  • I can’t offer around-the-clock availability to answer calls

When the work day ends, public relations specialists want to go home and enjoy their free time away from clients, but calls don’t stop coming in and leads can often be missed, as over 27% of leads call outside of normal business hours. Public relations firms may not be able to provide after-hours availability, but may still want to offer accessible customer service to clients.

If your public relations firm is experiencing one or any of these scenarios, an answering service can help by allowing you to outsource these tasks directly to a professional agent. An answering service will take on some of the more time-consuming responsibilities, addressing and alleviating the tedious issues your business faces. Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can accomplish the same, whether your public relations firm needs additional assistance handling phone calls, blocking spam, or qualifying leads. By foregoing the need to allocate time to screening calls and answering clients’ questions, your business can get back to focusing on more important work without neglecting your client relationships. Review our case study to learn more about how Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service can provide support for public relations firms.

What are the common problems that indicate my public relations firm needs a virtual receptionist service?

While it would be nice to get everything done by yourself, it simply isn't realistic. Inevitably, issues will come up that you won't be able to resolve on your own, and you shouldn't have to. Any kind of outsourced support, like an answering service, can help you out of even the toughest spots, and may just be the answer to some of your other more frustrating problems. Here are some of the most commonly reported issues we've noticed many public relations firms need virtual receptionist services for:

  • I can’t answer all of my clients' calls and messages

With a limited staff and an endless list of assignments, public relations teams often struggle to answer phones and respond to messages from clients in addition to their regular duties. Keeping a public relations firm up and running while also finding the time to offer quality customer service simultaneously can prove to be a real challenge for many firms.

  • I’m spending my whole day on administrative tasks and can’t get productive, real work done

With the price of in-house receptionists being as high as it is, businesses are often left to delegate daily tasks themselves. Despite spending a large portion of their day performing administrative duties, public relations teams often struggle to balance their important projects with their regular office tasks.

  • I regularly miss calls from new business leads and it's costing me money

Picking up each and every call can be next to impossible for public relations firms, especially when they have higher priority assignments to address. Businesses can easily fall behind on responding to new inquiries so potential leads can be frequently missed. Leads don't wait for call-backs. They call the next business in the search results. If businesses fail to pick up, they not only lose a lead, they lose ROI, money on marketing campaigns and ad spend, as well as conversion rates from ads.

  • I can’t reply to leads fast enough to beat my competition to new clients

With the crowded marketplace for public relations firms being what it is, it can be a humongous obstacle for firms to distinguish themselves and stand out amongst other similar businesses. Providing quality customer service through quick and thoughtful responses can place businesses above their competitors, but many public relations firms often lack the time to do so.

  • I’m not sure how to find and keep new clients

Arguably one of the most important, yet challenging, aspects of growing a successful business is obtaining and keeping new clients. With so much time and effort being spent towards existing clients, public relations firms may not have the opportunity to seek out and nurture new clients. Businesses who spread their workload too thin may not be able to deliver quality customer service. Slow response times may frustrate customers and hurt client loyalty and retention, as well.

  • I can’t seem to manage all of my clients’ data

Maintaining detailed phone records and call summaries can be overwhelming for businesses who disperse client data across a multitude of software platforms. Knowing how, when, and why clients call is significant for any business hoping to successfully navigate client relationships, but unfortunately, is not always easy to accomplish.

If you've noticed your public relations firm has been overwhelmed by any of these challenges, a virtual receptionist service may be just the solution you've been looking for. One of the many great things about Smith.ai is that our services fit your business needs, not the other way around. Our virtual receptionists can allocate time where you need it most and address the specific issues your business faces, whether that be qualifying and intaking new clients or sending invoices and collecting payments. Sign up risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee and see how Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can alleviate the problems your public relations firm faces.

What do I need to prepare to get started with a public relations firm virtual receptionist service?

Determining which services are important to your public relations firm is a good place to start. To figure out which services would be best for your business, ask yourself what problems or opportunities you face that a virtual receptionist service can address:

  • Do you find yourself needing more professional assistance screening leads?
  • Does your firm fail to offer website, social media, and text message answering?
  • Does your team struggle to find time to schedule appointments and consultations?

Whatever it may be, Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can adjust their service to better suit your business needs.

After that, consider what services would best fit your company’s activity level:

  • Does your business receive hundreds of calls a day or just a few?
  • Do you receive more online messages than calls?
  • Would your business benefit from 24/7 phone answering or would you prefer a particular time frame, such as 9-to-5, for answering calls?

Whether you get twenty calls a month or 2,000, Smith.ai can customize your virtual receptionist service to fit your business activity so you only pay for what you need.

All you have to do next is sign up. Getting started with Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service is simple and fast. No annual contracts, no setup fees, and no need to supply scripts.

Follow three simple steps:

  1. Customize your instructions – Just answer a few, quick questions about your firm and the preferences you have and we’ll get you started. We’ll use your answers to customize the way our virtual receptionists answer your calls and your clients’ questions. 
  2. Send your calls to us – We work with every phone system and can set up customized rules for when we answer your calls. Or we can answer every call, 24/7!
  3. Try risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee – Fully experience our call answering, scheduling, payments, and other phone services completely risk free for 14 days. If we're not the right fit for you, get your money back up to $1000 within the first 14 days.

Whether your public relations firm is looking for a full-time virtual receptionist or an overflow or occasional phone answering service, Smith.ai can offer customized assistance to your team with quality customer service, lead screening, and sales development. When you sign up with Smith.ai, you won’t just be gaining a virtual receptionist service, you’ll be gaining a professional, reliable, and friendly team who are guaranteed to transform your business by capturing leads and delighting current clients. 

Learn how to get started with Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service.

Recent Client Testimonials

"Smith.ai is our inbound sales team. Having a trained and personable voice has transformed our ability to answer the phone and convert callers to clients."
Jeremy Treister
CMIT Solutions of Downtown Chicago
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