Business and marketing consultants, who are considering doing a publicity campaign as part of their marketing plan, often, consider hiring a public relations consultant or firm. PR consultants have credentials and contacts that can generate immediate results.
One reason that many independent consultants don’t hire PR firms is the money. True public relations can get expensive but if you search around the internet you can find solid PR professionals that can help you out with out breaking your bank account.
When selecting a PR firm, define your needs and interview several individuals or companies. Just as your clients expect professional answers and pricing, make sure you have all the details. Understand the scope of the offering and ask what kind of guarantees they can provide in terms of media coverage and publicity.
Here are some basic points you should be clear on before working with a public relations consultant:
- Range of PR Services – Ask the firm to describe the specific services they will be offering you. Make sure you understand what the cost of these services will be. Do not tolerate vague responses. You goal is to completely measure the PR firms commitment to your consulting practice.
- Understand Their Reach – You need a PR firm to move you to the head of the class. Insist on familiarizing yourself with the breadth of their media contacts. Check to see that their media reach is appropriate for your consultancy. Make sure to ask to see past clients, projects, or case studies that they have prepared.
- Know Your Place – Remember PR is often just a fancy word for marketing, so make sure that the services they are offering you are services that you can’t handle yourself. For example these days with companies like MarketWire.com or prweb.com press releases are easier then ever to do yourself.
- Take Your Time – Marketing consultants must perform due diligence. The first meeting will serve to eliminate the unqualified PR firms. After the first interview, develop serious questions and make sure you get good answers. Marketing consultants must be comfortable with the PR firm. If in doubt, pass on the company and keep looking.
Many consultants pay a PR professional to evaluate their current publicity campaign. Share your vision of your ideal publicity campaign and ask for feedback and suggestions. Some PR consulting firms may provide some initial service or advice free of charge to show you how valuable they can be if you choose them. In either case, the response will tell you a lot about the quality of the PR firm’s services and you’ll know who you need to go with!