In public relations, we’re always working hard for our clients to get them noticed on lists that decry “The Top This” or “Best Of That.” And yet, like the proverbial shoemaker’s kids, we might not always do it so well for ourselves.

What’s a great PR agency (or any business) to do? Well, here are four easy tips to help you get you started:

  1. Identify the places that will help your business’s reputation
    There are many opportunities to increase your own agency’s – or business’s – own brand awareness. But do your research in advance. Identify the trade publications that run these types of lists (for public relations agencies, these include such outlets as Ragan’s, PR Week, PR News, The Holmes Report, O’Dwyers, AdWeek, Ad Age, the Public Relations Society of America (local chapter) and others).

    Your local business media outlet (such as our own San Francisco Business Times and other Business Journals publications) are prime suspects as well.

    The local metropolitan magazine, such as New York Magazine, also tends to publish lists of this nature, as does The Observer (nationally and internationally).

    In addition, there are new online outlets to mine, including Clutch, Feedspot,, DesignRush, UpCity, Expertise, The Manifest, 10BestPR and GrowthList. And don’t forget other business publications such as Fast Company, Forbes, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Journal and Digiday.

  2. Think Outside the “List” box
    Yes, it’s easy to remember when business publications do their annual “Best PR Agencies” lists. But some cities (like ours) no longer do that list for PR due to an inability to verify fiscal numbers. So, think outside the box and think about other areas where your business excels, such as:

    • Best Company Blog
    • Best Digital Agencies
    • Best Family-Owned Business
    • Best Female Employee
    • Best Female-Owned Business
    • Best LGBT-owned Business
    • Best Places To Work
    • Best Social Media Agencies
    • Best Young Employee

  4. Join the new business panels in your city
    Business publications like Forbes and the Business Journals in each market are getting smart these days. In order to expand their own readership and reach, they are creating “business councils” in each market – these are councils made up of business professionals who can offer advice, provide networking, write content and in general help create a positive business climate in each market.

    These councils generally require a membership fee (so the business publication also makes money), but then allow members to create content for the business publication’s community platform. Writing about your industry gives your agency – or business – credibility and awareness, as you can rightfully claim that you write for those publications. It also achieves many of the same thought leadership goals as when you’re included in a “Best Of” list.

  5. SEO, SEO, SEO
    If your goal is to be included in top results when people are searching for your market’s best agency or business, your best bet is still the simplest (and yet the hardest): search engine optimization. Where do most businesses now go to search for a business partner? Online. If you type in “public relations” (or your type of business) and the name of your city or market – and your agency or business doesn’t appear on the first page, you’ve got work to do. How do you improve your rankings in search? Through daily, refreshed new content on your site, backlinks to credible sources and helpful business advice through your own blog.

Following these four easy steps can help your agency – or any business in general – get those “shoemaker shoes” that will fit your business perfectly to be “one of the best.”

David Landis
David Landis
President and CEO, Landis Communications Inc. (LCI)
David Landis is President/CEO of Landis Communications Inc. (LCI) in San Francisco, a longstanding sustainable marketing/communications agency which this year celebrates 30 years in business. With more than 30 years experience in public relations, brand management, digital strategies, social media, positioning, marketing, content marketing, analyst relations, media training, crisis communications, public affairs and community relations, David Landis has lent his expertise to a variety of U.S. and Bay Area-based corporations. These include: financial institutions, real estate businesses, consumer technology businesses, insurance companies, hospitality and travel-related businesses, retailers, consumer businesses, food/wine clients, entertainment businesses, educational institutions, technology companies, broadcasters, fashion businesses, media, cultural institutions, sports organizations and non-profit organizations. Among the prestigious clients Mr. Landis has counseled over the years are: UCSF, Stanford Children’s Hospital, Walmart, California Bank & Trust,, MetLife, Emirates Airline, Whole Foods Market, NBC Universal, Old Navy, Sony, Cold Stone Creamery, eBates, Port of San Francisco, Tiffany & Co., Pottery Barn, California Society of Anesthesiologists, Planned Parenthood, Stanford University, San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Bravo, Hilton Hotels, Gap, Levi Strauss & Co., Xerox, AAA, AT&T, Harry & David, PIER 39, San Francisco Symphony, Save the Redwoods League, KPIX-TV (San Francisco), KCBS-TV (Los Angeles), Examiner Bay to Breakers and more. Currently, Mr. Landis is a member of the Forbes San Francisco Business Council. For three years, Mr. Landis taught public relations in the MBA program at San Francisco’s Golden Gate University. A recipient of numerous awards, Mr. Landis is a published writer and has been a featured speaker at numerous industry conferences, as well as a guest lecturer at Stanford University, the University of California-Berkeley, University of San Francisco and Golden Gate University. Prior to launching LCI, Mr. Landis served as PR/Community Relations Director for KPIX TV, the San Francisco CBS affiliate. While there, he was part of a team that won the station two national Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. Before his work in television, Mr. Landis was PR Director of the San Francisco Symphony, where he helped open San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall. In his volunteer capacities, Mr. Landis serves on the advisory boards of Project Open Hand (serving meals to people with life threatening diseases) and ODC, San Francisco’s modern dance company, theatre and school. He also serves on the Marketing Committees of the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Ballet. Like every other PR professional, Mr. Landis studied piano in college (at Northwestern University in Chicago) and his first jobs included teaching piano to neighborhood children (at the ripe old age of 12). Mr. Landis lives in San Francisco with his husband, Sean Dowdall (General Manager at LCI) and in his spare time enjoys music, theatre, travel, hiking, skiing, hanging out with his dogs Gaston & Alphonse and partaking in the culinary delights of San Francisco. David Landis’ best celebrity meeting ever? The one and only Stephen Sondheim.

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