A great product or service is not always enough to get the attention your company deserves from your potential customers. You need to make the right connections in order to get noticed, and working with a public relations firm can help you gain your place in the limelight.
The biggest difference between female entrepreneurs that have customers and clients knocking at their doors and entrepreneurs that can’t get anyone to buy is that they don’t take the time to make themselves visible!
Inside the Public Relations Academy, we give you media leads so you can pitch your own brand and get media attention. We help you stay laser focused on building your influence if you want to manage your own publicity.
However, when you are hiring a public relations firm, the relationship should be long-lasting. You are doing yourself a disservice if you change public relations firms periodically as the public (and the media) may end up being confused with the ever-changing messages of your promotions.
A consistent relationship with a public relations firm that has your best interests in mind will make your message strong and concise. I encourage you to take the time to find the right public relations firm for you so you can build a meaningful partnership.
Here are 7 tips to find the perfect public relations firm for your company:
1.Work Experience and Location
Hiring a fancy New York public relations firm may not be a good choice to make if your business is located in a smaller city like Vancouver. Again, New York and Vancouver are two completely different places and inhabited by completely different people, so what may work in New York could absolutely fail in Vancouver. If your business has a global mandate or works entirely online, then location may not be important.
2.Event Marketing Services
Public relations isn't all spreadsheets and marketing emails. In fact, public relations firms are best known for their ability to create buzz-worthy events and relationships for your company.
If your company hosts events and seminars, consider hiring an agency that can help you spread the word about these activities, and not just about your products. Availing the services of the right public relations firm will enable you to create events that are exciting and fun! These events are a great way to attract customers and engage your current audience.
3.Knowing What's Newsworthy
Most individuals believe that hiring a public relations firm is necessary only when you have to organize a party or get the right people to notice your product. The right public relations firm, however, can give you more than that if you know the right things to ask for.
A public relations firm understands that each company is unique from the other, even if they're competing in the same sector. This means different strategies as well. Given the opportunity, a public relations firm can also help you determine the right positioning in the industry, make brand recognition possible and identify the target market for your company.
4.Creating Your Media Kit
Getting heard is not enough; the best public relations firms know that saying the right things in the right manner is equally, if not more so, important. The right public relations firm for you takes the time to get to know a company inside and out from the very beginning in order to generate the right kind of media attention.
Numbers: They know that figures carry considerable impact, but too much of it can make a report boring and uninteresting. What's the hook!?
Events: Narrating the company's history can be tedious, so it must sound exciting while remaining factual at the same time.
Testimonials: Customer cases are tricky; too much gushing can make a reader suspicious, while a lack of information will make a reader lose interest. Why should they trust you?
Your future public relations firm will need to find the right balance for your company. This will create the publicity that you need!
Download: This media kit planner will help you showcase your business to prospective brand partners, customers or media professionals.
5.Ability to Mitigate Crises and Sensitive Issues
Public relations firms are problem solvers. When a crisis ensues that threatens the reputation or credibility of a company, a good public relations firm will be able to step in to smooth out ruffled feathers and restore damaged company images.
The better relationship you have with the firm, the better they will be able to help you. If you have been with them a while, when a problem arises, they will already know how you should respond. Public relations firms can do more for you in a crisis when they already understand your company. This is another reason it's a good idea to work with the same company long-term and treat them as an extension of your team.
At the beginning of my public relations career, I represented a brand that had multiple products recalls. My job was to manage the long-term reputation of the company and when the product was recalled, we were dealing with media showing up at the head office and planning multiple press conferences to address questions. Our long-term marketing plans were put on hold as we had to shift to dealing with mitigating the recall situation.
I went from promoting the products in major magazines to managing a potential crisis.
It was this moment in my public relations career, that I realized the importance of creating trust with your brand advocates and building media allies before you need their support. Now, I am teaching crisis communications and media relations as a professor at Simon Fraser University and I'm sharing this example with my students.
6.Think Out of the Box
The right public relations firm never runs out of creative ideas to help promote your company. In fact, they run out time in the monthly retainer to get it all done! They know that the world around us is constantly changing, and that the company must have continuous use of dynamic marketing for their success. Your public relations firm should be flexible and creative, always coming up with successful and innovative ways to keep you in the press.
7.Adapting a Maternal Role (Feminine Leadership!)
Lastly, the right public relations firm is one who acts like a mother to your company. It knows how important it is to listen to your concerns and your complaints, but it also knows when it's right to stand firm and push for its recommendations. The right public relations firm always has your best interests at heart, even if it may not seem so at first glance.
If you're interested in working together, I can help you through my executive PR services at Pink Pearl PR, through a brand strategy session or in the Public Relations Academy. You can download my PR resources and planners to get you started or join my 5 Day Perfectly Planned Publicity Challenge.