There are a few key requirements when deciding to start a public relations consulting firm. Some of these are concrete, physical items, that you will need to purchase or may have already, and others are skills or experience that you need to have or cultivate. Here are a few of the basic items you will need:
Experience or Qualifications
While it’s not strictly necessary to have a formal PR qualification, a background in the communications field, or as a journalist, can be very helpful.
Experience in the corporate communications field can also be a big help, whether in an employee capacity, or for charities or other non profit organizations. You will also need great organizational skills, and a genuine love of working with people.
Working as a freelance pr consultant, or owning your own public relations company will require you to regularly contact and deal with the media, whether print or advertising, TV, or even online.
Cultivating a set of solid media contacts will stand you in very good stead when you decide to launch your own company, as it will make getting your client’s message, whether via a press release or a media event, to the public a lot easier!
Choosing Your Niche
Choosing a specific niche, for example, financial or IT, will help narrow your efforts down – both in terms of finding potential clients, and making media contacts.
Your job, finding those media contacts, is made easier because you can focus only on publications that offer content related to your niche, and focus on building those relationships. By getting to know one market in a lot of detail, you will also ensure that you are well equipped to manage your clients’ promotional affairs.
Marketing your PR Consulting Work
Your new company will need its own promotional strategy, and a website should be your first big project. An online presence is critical these days, and even more so for a company whose core business is being on top of the media.
Other marketing materials and projects you should focus on are a great set of business cards for networking events and other potential clients, advertisements in industry specific publications as per your chosen niche, and perhaps a yellow pages listing.
Face to face marketing can be achieved by joining networking groups, or industry bodies, as well as visiting trade shows and exhibitions particular to your industry.
Starting out, your first choice of premises will probably be a home office, however, you might also consider renting a small store front office in a high visibility location.
Most of your meetings will be held at the offices of potential clients, so a large office is not strictly necessary, although, particularly if you work from home, you may want to locate meeting rooms available for hire in your area.
Setting up a pr consulting firm should not be a very costly affair, however, it will require a fair amount of planning, as well as applying those promotional and marketing strategies to your own business.