February 7, 2012 Leave a comment
You need to market, that’s a given. The question should not be if, but how. Your best choice is to hire a firm or a professional consultant. If you’re on s shoestring budget, that makes it tougher, but there are still myriad ways to approach it. Going the do-it-yourself route is one choice, but if you do chose to go this way, you have a big learning curve ahead of you. For example, let’s say you decide to handle, create and launch your own media relations campaign; to start, you need to learn the hows and whys of putting together a successful campaign. And you need to know how to define a campaign.
Keep in mind that landing an interview on TV program, or in a magazine, is not media relations. That is simply one small step. I’ve had potential clients tell me that they tried PR and it simply didn’t work. When I asked them to define exactly what they did, they usually explained that they were featured in a magazine or newspaper or TV segment and nothing happened. When I then asked them how they utilized or maximized that one media placement, I’d generally be met with blank stairs. In their mind, that one media placement was a PR campaign; it didn’t change their life, so PR didn’t work. The trouble was, they never really tried a public relations campaign, they simply appeared in a story or two. Being featured in the media a few times is not a media relations campaign. It’s a start. It’s nice. It can help, but it’s not a campaign, and that’s what public relations firms focus on creating, launching and implementing effective PR campaigns.
This is not to say that you can’t do some initial PR work on your own. You can, but your goal should be to shift from doing your own marketing to brining on a professional as soon as possible. Your job is running your business. Your marketing team should be marketing your business.
Effective media relations is an art and a full-time job. It takes skill, know-how, experience persistence, and contacts. The art of effective PR entails more than writing releases, posting releases on paid wire services, putting together press kits – and praying. If a campaign is launched haphazardly or incorrectly, it’s often best not having been launched at all. The last thing you want to do is alienate the press, which is often what happens when well-meaning but inexperienced individuals try their hands at running their own media campaigns.
So until you can bring a team or a consultant on board, do what you can on your own. But be selective. Keep your efforts targeted and focused. Once you’re ready to hire a PR firm or marketing company, choose wisely. Choose a firm or individual you’re comparable with. You need to be able to communicate with you representatives. You also need trusted advisors who will tell you when they feel you’re steering off- base or making a wrong move. If you pick wisely, do your part and work with your PR firm, (to paraphrase Bogie in Casablanca) this could be the start of a successful and profitable relationship.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012