Don’t hire a PR company if…

18Jul12

Top misconceptions when hiring PR

Are you thinking about hiring a PR company to help your business? Don’t do it if you think…

 

-The PR company will ‘make’ stories for you.

Not quite. In order to write stories (good stories), the PR company you hire will need the raw material and content that only the business owner can know: facts, figures, quotes and, of course, the main news angle.

You might think ‘That is why we hired you for’ but in reality the best and most productive PR/business relationships are those that are proactive relationship: there is a flow of ideas and information between the PR company and the business owner or manager. PR executives can’t write a release with no information, the same way journalists can’t write news without sources. Remember: you know your business best.

-You’ll have less work.

If PR is working, it will actually mean you will have more work, as you’ll need to be proactive with content, possible stories and available for interviews.

-The PR company will do interviews for you or speak on your behalf.

Can you imagine if radio hosts and media started interviewing PR reps instead of companies’ directors or specialists? It would be very boring! And not natural: you are the best spokesperson for your own business and the one who knows it better.

-They can guarantee coverage.

We can only try. Some months might involve a lot of work being done in the background and no coverage to speak of, some months might get many features landing at the same time, hence the importance of engaging in PR as a long-term strategy – not a quick fix.

-The PR company can control what is written by the journalist.

Remember, we are talking about editorial content. The job of PR people is just finding synergies between your business’ stories and the relevant journalists. Find where your stories could fit. But at the end of the day, it is entirely up to the journalist if she/he wants to use your story and how she/he wants to write it.

-They can measure the effect of PR on sales.

PR is a very inexact ‘science’, the focus is on awareness and profile. Of course, good PR and getting media exposure will have an effect on your sales, ultimately but it is a long-term goal and one based on constant work. There is no quick fix. Measuring the effect of PR and media coverage on your sales is difficult but we have had many cases when clients have noticed lower sales or lower calls, after they stopped doing PR and sharing their message.



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