If you’re just diving into the world of public relations and have made the decision to hire an agency to help with reputation management, brand awareness, thought leadership and more – congrats! If you’re reading this blog, we’re gonna guess you’re confused on what to expect from PR.
Many companies are unsure of how to integrate PR into their marketing mix and set ambitious but realistic goals. You’re not going to be on the front page of the Wall Street Journal or have a sit down with Oprah. It’s a hoot when clients, who have never invested in media relations, expect overnight national coverage. Hilarious.
Setting (Realistic) Goals
Now that we’ve crushed your completely unrealistic and silly dreams, let’s discuss what is actually a realistic goal.
Since we’re assuming your company has never utilized PR previously, you need to start at the beginning. The first 3 months are for developing a strategy, researching reporters and publications, building out storylines and training spokespeople. This is not something you rush, so stop trying to skip over it – you don’t start a company without a business plan. It’s the same with PR, you need a roadmap. 99% of PR is research, we look at competitors, industry landscape, past coverage and what’s happening on the national stage that we can either tie into or need to be cognizant of when reaching out to media.
When setting goals with your agency, keep type of coverage in mind. You might want to be in The New York Times, but your customers are actually reading FreightWaves or Supply Chain Management. Set your ego aside.
We’ve landed clients in US Weekly and People Magazine, but the coverage they received in an industry publication was more of a sales driver. Do you want your ego stroked or to drive sales?
The Agency Perspective
PR is hard work. We make it look easy, but what you don’t see are the hours and hours of researching reporters, creating media lists, developing pitches, writing press releases, pulling together media kits, and combing through social media. We don’t secure national media using the copy-paste and mass email method. It isn’t the 8THIRTYFOUR way, PR isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes time and client understanding. Sure, a billboard is cool. But you know what’s cooler? An article with your name in it, touting something you’ve done.
Now, that makes all the work worth it.