1. It’s too expensive.
This is one of the top reasons that business owners cite as to why they don’t hire a PR representative. They have a hard time justifying monthly retainer fees into their already tight budgets. However, owners might want to evaluate if a lack of promotion, and moreover the right kind of promotion, is jeopardizing their bottom line.
Effective PR companies are invested in implementing communication plans that will increase your profits. For example, let’s say you run a boutique clothing store and it is approaching holiday season. Your PR representative might suggest putting together a pitch on a holiday fashion trend, which includes items in your store. As a result, a local TV show features the trend exposing your store to thousands of potential clients. Going one step further, you tie in a holiday promotion and now you see a significant increase in new clients. Your PR representative then might suggest a way to reach out to these new clients on a regular basis to keep them and their friends coming back, whether it’s for special offers or for a private merchandise showing, you get the point. PR is an investment that pays off over time by bringing in new business and turning them into repeat customers whenever possible.
As for budgeting concerns, I encourage you to shop around and get quotes from different types of PR representatives from individual practitioners to larger PR firms. Remember to weigh the services they propose versus return on investment.
2. I already advertise on the Internet.
I have run into numerous business owners who say they have a web site and that’s their public relations vehicle. In today’s world, yes, it’s important to have a web site, but it’s also important to be competitive on the Internet.
There are numerous ways to achieve this and a PR representative can be your best ally in doing so. From social media campaigns to search engine optimization, there is an increasing focus on incorporating the Internet into PR campaigns.
Going back to our example of the clothing boutique, let’s say the boutique has a web site and a Facebook page, but both appear to be stagnant. This could give a potential client the wrong impression. If you’re going to drive traffic to your brand on the Internet, you have to keep it fresh. This will propel you far past your competitors. As a public relations representative for the boutique, I might suggest creating video fashion shows of each season’s new trends or implementing a blog that is updated with information like new item arrivals and sales. Then, direct your Facebook fans to your page when content is updated. Social media and social networking are based on sharing information, which is vital to any business. Let’s face it; when a friend in one of your social networks recommends a product or service, isn’t that just as good as word of mouth marketing?
Having said that, it is wise to ask potential PR representatives about their experience with the Internet and social media. Since it is all still fairly new, many people are boasting their expertise with marketing on the web. It’s fair to ask to see the company’s web site, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc. If it looks like they just joined a social networking site or slapped together a web site, seriously consider looking for another representative.
3. My business doesn’t have enough news to share.
I have heard this one many, many times. Business owners don’t think that their company has any news of value. Not so. Now to be fair, there may not be news to share every week, but let’s say there is an emerging trend or a current event that has everyone talking. Can your product or service tie into that? You might have a perfect media opportunity on your hands.
News can include an event announcement (before and after), executive hiring, board appointments, addition of a new service, product promotion, awards, nominations, industry trends, etc. A well-trained PR professional can help you identify newsworthy information and how to share that information.
4. I can do it myself.
As you have clearly seen by now, PR is much more than a press release. Are there businesses that have had success in the media without the help of a PR representative? Yes, of course.
However, how much time do you have during your day to dedicate to additional tasks?
As a fellow business owner, I would say there’s a good chance your answer doesn’t involve a lot of spare time. This is one of the benefits of working with a professional in any industry—at the end of the day they save you time and are trained in their field so chances are the learning curve is fairly minimum. (If you ever hear a professional say they know it all, run.)
In addition to time, businesses also benefit from an outside opinion, experience and creativity. For instance, in addition to formulating and executing a communication plan that is strategic and budget conscious, your PR representative should also be on the lookout for opportunities to host events, as well as article resource, award, sponsorship and speaking opportunities.
5. Reporters make me nervous.
Sometimes I meet people who are very media shy and not necessarily because they are shy people; they fear what might be written about them. In either case, PR professionals can work with you to help you become more comfortable with media. Often times, you’ll find communicating with the media isn’t as daunting as it may seem.
I ask you to think of those who you consider to be the greatest leaders and most successful business owners. Now, what would have happened if they had succumbed to fear?
For more information on Miss Ink’s PR services contact us at (305) 537-6465 or email@example.com.