Are you PR-Ready?
We get a lot of enquiries about our PR services at My Special PA. On a few occasions, however, we’ve found the potential client isn’t actually ‘ready’ to work with one of our PR specialists. This is due to a variety of factors, but ultimately we’d like to advise you and help you understand what’s really involved so that you can truly maximise your PR potential.
I often hear creative professionals saying, ‘so I just need some PR now..’ as if it’s a magic bullet that will solve everything and bring them all the sales and success they require.
Whilst getting your work, product or service featured in widely circulated and optimised digital and online media can be a game changer for success, there’s some crucial preparation to ensure you can best leverage the opportunities that could come your way.
Pandora George one of our PR specialists, has provided us with a simple guide to helping creative professionals to get PR-Ready through 6 key questions….
1) Why do you want PR?
Firstly, is PR definitely the right next step for you?… And are you clear on the distinction between marketing and PR? Whilst both are a form of communication, marketing is the process of selling or promoting a product or service – influencing the public to buy. Marketing = building sales.
PR is about encouraging public awareness and goodwill towards a company or its products or services. PR = building trust.
PR specialists and agencies promote companies or individuals by persuading newspapers, magazines and online publications to write about their services, products and/or issues.
- They don’t buy advertising space in magazines – that is done by a marketing department.
- They don’t put up billboards – that is marketing.
- They don’t make TV ads – again that is marketing.
However marketing/ad agencies and PR specialists and agencies do share the same goal – to promote their clients and make them seem relevant, exciting, important, and honest.
2) Do you have a proper budget for PR?
Unless you plan to tackle your own PR, you need to budget for a PR specialist or agency. Fees start at £320 per day. For an effective campaign you need to budget at least one day a week of a PR’s time over the campaign period. A campaign usually lasts for three months; the time taken to work out a PR strategy, pitch monthly magazines (which work on a three month lead time) and the shorter lead publications which will publish closer to launch date. At the very least you would need to budget for a day a week over a 6 – 8 weeks period. With PR, you get what you pay for: the more time you employ a PR for, the more time they work on your campaign.
….that’s in addition to having a marketing budget for some or all of the following:
- *Offline editorial advertising space – newspapers, magazines and brochures
- *Offline printed sales collateral – business cards, brochures
- *Online digital promotion – subscriptions to newsletter clients e.g. mail chimp, web directories, web banners and ads
…but remember the famous Bill Gates quote: If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR! – Bill Gates
3) Is your product or service really ready to go to market?
If you’re a new business or company, we’d strongly advise you to get your stall set out properly, before you even consider trying to sell what’s inside it. Do you have:
- a finished product / service?
- clear Unique Selling Point (USP) and intended market?
- live and ideally fully search optimised website?
- marketing collateral especially high quality visuals? – they need to speak for themselves and effectively sell your product or service with very minimal copy. (remember we are more drawn by pics than headlines)
- social media profiles (key channels: some or all – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram)?
- social media campaign?
Or…. if you’re an existing brand – a new collection or service to promote?
4) Do you have a good story?
Whilst a PR specialist can work closely with you to develop your story and think strategically, take the time to think about what’s really newsworthy about your product or service. Ask yourself the following:
- Journalists get 300-400 emails per day – how will your story stand out?
- Would I want to read about this story in the press? – If the answer is no, then there’s either more work to be done around marketing or actual product / service development.
You have a story if:
- You / your company is at the ‘top of the tree’ in what you do.
- You’re highly established in one field but moving into a new career or developing into a new creative discipline.
- There’s rich ground in your personal story.
- You have a celebrity link.
- You’re already considered a hot brand in the media.
- You’re an existing brand with a new product or collection
5) Target Audience
Are you clear on your target audience? And if so, where do you see your product or service appearing? – It’s vital to be clear on where you want to get to.
- Business 2 Business – invest in PR for trade press first.
- Business 2 Consumer – consumer engagement is only worth investment when there’s a specific retail opportunity e.g. an exhibition, launch etc.
Remember you need to allow a minimum of 3 months run-up to a product launch or opening date, to build a strategy, campaign and meet media deadlines. Providing a key date in a press release will maximise its potential impact.
We really hope you find this guide helpful. Once you’ve asked yourself these key questions, My Special PA can help you to both get PR Ready and then work with Pandora or Andrea. Get in touch for more information