Getting Your Company PR Ready

via Wikimedia Commons.

Every business owner dreams of getting enough publicity to make his or her brand the front runner in customers’ minds. However, there a few steps that a business must complete before hiring a professional (or outside agency) to make this dream come true.

1. Is your product or service ready?
There is only so much content that can be created before the physical product or service becomes available. Without media (photos, video demos) or customer testimonials, it is difficult to generate more than speculative publicity.

via Flickr.

2. Your product or service is not ready yet, but have you been collecting customers’ information to keep them updated?
Public relations campaigns along with press coverage can drive traffic to a website and social media accounts, but it can turn into a failure if your product is unavailable for sale and the company fails to collect customer information. All the money spent in said campaigns and coverage will go to waste if no information appears on the website. Creating a newsletter or a form where people can leave their information is also crucial to encourage an audience to return.

3. Is it clear what makes your product or service stand out in the market?
If you don’t know what makes your product or service better than the competition, neither does the publicist. This should be defined and clear for the entire company, since it helps in defining your target audience and the media strategy he or she will create.

via Wikimedia Commons.

4. Do you have promotional material?
We live in a digital era that has turned promotion of products and services very visual. You need professional photos, videos, a branded website with a unique template and active social media accounts to make people aware of what you’re trying to sell and establish your credibility in the market.

via Flickr.

5. Do you have a budget to hire a public relations professional or agency?
The cost of PR services depend on the type of services needed, the size of  your business and its location. The cost for a startup company with less than 10 employees, even at the lower cost end of the spectrum, could still be considered high if your company hasn’t generated sales yet.

via Pixabay.

6. Do you have the time and patience?
PR campaigns require time. There is significant research that goes into its background which can make the entire process quite lengthy. Usually, PR professionals require at least three months to launch the campaign and even more time to start landing media coverage.

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1 Response to Getting Your Company PR Ready

  1. Lisa Travis says:

    I love the angle you took with this post. Depending on the business and product, they may need PR at any stage of the process. Often, the sooner a company hires a PR team the better, but item five on your list should be looked at first because it does cost money. If a company doesn’t wisely invest and slows down the production process due to taking on a PR team before the company is ready, they could end up losing significant sums of money.

    I think many of the other points you listed vary on a case by case basis. Some new companies should opt for a PR agency’s service rather than start with an in-house team as they get rolling. This ties in well with number three on your list. If the company doesn’t have a clear purpose or message, a PR team can help, but it’s important for the company itself to have a direction.

    I do disagree with number four on your list. If the company hires the right PR professionals, they should be able to take over the branding elements used for these promotional materials. From photographers to web designers to building a social media presence, it may prove beneficial for a company to use the PR team and their connections to cover these necessary parts. Often, if a company starts with a PR team while still in its infancy, the PR specialists can help that company avoid hitting so many bumps and roadblocks that startups often run into. Hitting the ground running with carefully selected graphic assets and well thought out campaign can help a new brand make a powerful first impression in the marketplace.

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