The 5 Things You Need Before You Hire a PR Pro
Do you think I’m ready for a publicist?
How do I know when to hire someone to handle my PR?
These are two of the most common questions we receive.
And understandably so. When IS the right time to hire a publicist?
Well, as publicists and brand managers, we’ve got a few thoughts on when and why you should hire a PR pro.
- You have a website or some digital home to send people to. Why? Well think of it like this: What if you watched a news segment that got you REALLY excited? The guest seemed like someone you’d enjoy grabbing dinner (and a cocktail) with. Then, all of sudden she started talking about her new book and the secrets of success she shares in it and you were like, “I NEED THIS NOW!” So you googled her name as you’re watching the segment or immediately after it ended. You searched for her book… and nothing. Zilch. You couldn’t find a thing online so at the very least, you’ll have to head down to the local bookstore to see if you can hunt it down. It’s a lot, right? Do you see what we’re getting at here? The segment was gold and had the exact effect that was intended, but your new bestie had no way for you to contact her or engage with her offering. Before you hire a publicist tasked with placing you on the media stage, make sure you have a digital home (that’s also well organized and easy to explore!) to welcome all your new virtual besties into.
- Your brand messaging is on point. This is critical. While your publicist will help you hone your message and pull the messaging gold out of you for interviews, you need to know what overarching message you want to share with the world. And if you’re not clear on what message you want to share with the world… well. Start developing and solidifying it before you step on a national media stage and are asked to share it. A great publicist won’t shy away from telling you that your messaging needs a bit more work and your offering needs solidifying before they can really move the needle for you. In fact, they’ll likely tell you to work with a brand messaging or business strategist first and then circle back to them once it’s set.
- You have a solid understanding of who your message resonates with. You should have a great pulse on who your customer is and what they are thinking and struggling with before you hire a publicist. Maybe this sounds like business and marketing 101, but seriously. We’ve had lots of conversations with entrepreneurs who didn’t REALLY know who their client was. This can translate into a less-than-stellar publicity campaign and is quite honestly, a giant waste of your money. Before you hire a publicist, understand who your message is for — and who it’s not. And if a publicist isn’t asking you about who your message resonates with most… Jump ship.
- You know why you need publicity. Let’s be honest. There are a lot of individuals who see a competitor or a friend or a colleague mentioned in the media and they want that for themselves. We aren’t saying this is bad or wrong. In fact, it’s totally normal! But you should have a purpose and goals for your PR beyond being famous. Hire a publicist when—and only when—you can trace publicity back to your business and brand goals.
- You are able to invest in publicity efforts without it being “make or break” for your bottomline. Okay okay, hear us out for a second. We aren’t saying to not expect any ROI from your PR efforts. Quite the contrary. If you’re not getting any traction with media after hiring a firm and they’ve had at least three months to garner some coverage, it might be time to explore other options. But, what we are saying is that publicity is not the marketing tool that’ll solve your immediate business cash flow issue. Most firms require a monthly retainer for their work and if paying these monthly fees is going to put you in the red, hold off and instead explore lower ticket offerings like courses, workshops or VIP intensives to help you build a solid foundation without breaking the bank.
Still not sure if you’re ready to hire a publicist or know you need it but aren’t sure which level to start at? Explore our all-in representation or VIP Intensives to learn more and see which one fits your goals, needs, and capacity.