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The Benefits Of PR & Why You Should Consider Hiring A Publicist

Written by: Ashley-Victoria Smith, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

It’s a new year and if you own a business you want to grow and scale that business but also analyze what has been working, what isn’t working and what could be improved and one of those might just be your PR department; or do you even have one?

I do believe that every business/brand, sooner or later, should invest in public relations whether it's outsourcing an agency or hiring in-house. I asked eight different publicists and firms what businesses need to look for when hiring an agency, what to expect, and ultimately understanding the investment, and here’s their advice.


Prior to Hiring


If you are not prepared to get an influx of traffic to your website, social media, and sales it is not the right time to invest in an agency or publicist. For example, If Oprah were to list your products as one of her Oprah's Favorite Things List and you got a large influx of orders, is your team prepared to fulfill those orders? If the answer is no, you need to focus on that first. The last thing you want to be dealing with is bad reviews and unhappy customers. A bad reputation will lead you to hire a publicist for crisis management. -


‒ Des Dickerson of Uncommon Collective.


PR is a marathon, not a sprint. Please do not wait until the week before a big event or product launch to begin vetting PR firms. Your publicist will need some time to develop your strategy and make any adjustments to your brand voice, gather all of your assets, receive and distribute your product samples (if you have any), write and send out pitches, and conduct rounds of follow-ups, to name a few. An interview you do today, may not go live until a few weeks, to a few months after the fact!


‒ Charlotte Silverstein Publicist & Founder of Lena Rose PR


Before you should expect to see consistent media coverage, you'll first need to have the foundations of PR established. Is your owned media (i.e. website, blogs, etc.) all saying the same message and SEO optimized? Is your team trained up and organized to field written, spoken and video interview requests with journalists? Do you have a consistent trickle of new products, data, or insights to share with the media?”


‒ Tori Gates, Director of Operations at NisonCo


Brands should understand what public relations are and how it works before hiring PR representation. While media coverage isn't guaranteed, that's left to advertising, the right PR placement can make a big difference to a company by driving consumers to its website and increasing sales. A solid PR plan requires strategy and execution.


‒ Elaine Marshall, Co-Founder & Chief PR Strategist of Altalunas


If you are a product-based brand, you will need to have samples available to send to editors if they are requested.


‒ Olivia Bishop, Publicist at May Marketing Relations


Paid vs. Earned Media


Advertising gives out participation trophies. You buy an ad, you get to see it. PR is a competition where only the best stories, crafted by strong PR pros, make it onto the podium.


‒ Bill Byrne, Director at Remedy Communications


Your marketing mix can include earned (Public Relations), owned (Social Media Marketing, e-newsletters, Email Marketing) and paid media (advertising). Earned media is the most valuable because it must be earned. It must pass through the gatekeeper (the editor, writer, producer), who adds their reputation, credibility and endorsement when they share it. That’s a huge part of the value of your Public Relations program.


‒ Jayne Moorehouse, President of Jayne & Company


Investment & ROI


Brands need to know that PR is one tool to get the message out, and that the resulting third-party, editorial endorsements are highly valuable. Yet, you cannot just "do a little PR" and expect big results. PR is a deliberate and targeted practice that takes intention, time and commitment. Good PR programs build over time, as the practice of Public Relations is a combination of setting goals, employing tactics, intuition, art, science and analytics. It takes work, and it takes time.


‒ Lisa Adams Walter, Publicist at Adams Walter Communications


So, what are you waiting for? Look into these above publicists & their firms, ask for case studies or set up a call; 90 days from now you’ll be glad you did.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and visit my website for more info!


 

Ashley-Victoria Smith, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Ashley-Victoria Smith is a serial entrepreneur and creative genius. Named one of Charlotte’s Top 30 Under 30 Future Leaders in 2013, Smith has helped female-owned brands and businesses spearhead their marketing, branding and public relation efforts, helping them to tell their stories and become both profitable and sustainable.

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