November 14, 2008 Leave a comment
You’ve hired a public relations agency and are excited, but anxious. You’ve paid them the first month’s retainer fee in advance. You’ve signed a letter of agreement, and now you’re committed. What if they don’t do their job? What if they’re just smoke and mirrors? What if it doesn’t work?
You and your agency are a team. You are working towards the same goal. And just as there are expectations and demands that you will make on the agency, you too have to fulfill your part of the bargain, if the team is going to work and meet its objective. The agency’s obligations are to give you the best campaign it can, to come up with the best releases, come up with creative pitches, effectively utilize its media contacts, make follow-up calls and develop an effective and successful campaign for you and your business. You in turn have only one obligation to pay your retainer fee on time. But, if you’re serious about this and want the most successful campaign you can have, your list of obligations begins to grow. These are obligations that you owe to yourself. This is your business, this is your shot. Do your homework, be practical, and leave your ego at the door. You need to learn patience. Develop realistic expectations and let your firm do its job. And speaking of keeping realistic expectations, also watch out for misconceptions. ave you done?
Misconception #1: Some business owners believe that they should never work with a company who represents any of their competitors, or companies in their same general field. Whereas this may seem to make sense at first glance and I understand that logic, it’s actually not the case. Sure you might not want to be represented by a company that represents a competitor who is a carbon copy of you; but, working with a firm that is known for representing others in your fielfd can have a huge upside. Think about it, if the media sees the company as a go-to company for a certain type of story, chances are they’re going to listen when your firm pitches your story. They’ll have the ear of certain valuable editors and producers and that’s often what you need. Although that is not a reason to pick a firm, it is also not a valid reason to negate a particular company.
Relax. You signed with the firm five minutes ago, and you’re already scrambling for the lifeboats. I have had clients begin to panic within days of signing because we hadn’t yet placed them on the cover of Time magazine. You may not have a story placed for awhile. One of our most successful media relations campaigns began with a three month drought. We were unable to place a story anywhere for the first few months. Then it completely turned around. We placed the client on national talk shows, news shows, and radio programs, as well as in major national magazines and major newspapers.
Whether they’re specialists or generalists, what it comes down to is whether the company you choose knows PR and whether you feel they are a good fit. Communication is the name of the game. You need a firm that understands your story and has the savvy and know-how to pitch it effectively.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012