Nearly every business owner dreams of getting publicity for their company. But before you hire a public relations pro, you should establish a strong foundation for your business or your efforts could be a waste of time, money, and resources.
So, think you’re ready for PR? Use the questions below to assess your PR readiness:(Image: iStock/SIphotography)
1. Is there a product or service available? Do you have a website as well as a sign-up form on your site where people can leave their email address to receive updates?
PR campaigns and press coverage can drive substantial traffic to your site. Let’s say an article featuring your business goes viral attracting over 3 million views and 400,000 shares, if you don’t have a product available to sell or a place to capture potential customer’s information, it’s a recipe for failure.
2. Have you identified your business goals and put systems in place to monitor your progress?
Regardless if you hire a PR agency or freelancer, an effective PR pro should understand your goals and have access to your analytics, which can help track web traffic and measure the impact or ROI of any media outreach or public relations campaigns.
3. Can you clearly communicate your point of difference in the market?
Understanding why your product stands out from competitors is critical to attracting the right audience and being featured in the media. Your point of difference can include your story, product features, or benefits.
4. Do you have a strong range of promotional assets such as a branded website, professional photos, and active social media accounts?
These things establish your company’s credibility.
5. Do you have the budget to hire a public relations firm or consultant?
PR services are typically billed hourly, monthly retainer, or project basis. Depending on where you live, PR services can range from $1,500 per month for a small local business to $50,000 for a large corporation. And take note, this may not include expenses such as travel, photographers, printing, makeup artist, etc.
6. Do you have the time and patience to commit to the public relations process?
Success doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes it can take at least three to six months for a PR professional to launch a successful campaign and land media coverage.