An interesting blog post came across our screen recently, and although it was focused on the home and garden industry, we found the point of view compelling. In fact, we sometimes hear "reasons" about not hiring a PR firm coming from marketers, so we thought we would run them down:
Advertising is Everything. Ads today are ubiquitous and we are conditioned to avoid or ignore them. While still a component in the marketing mix, we would argue that earned media exposure and the accompanying third party credibility can get your message to your target audience more effectively. Years ago we reviewed a book by Al and Laura Ries that did a great job of articulating the differences between advertising and PR.
Do It Yourself. You are (hopefully) too busy running your business to do the necessary research to find the right media people to contact, see what they are most interested in, develop a relationship with them, and provide the needed background information and collateral materials by deadline. Then again, you can also do your own accounting, coding and legal work if you still have some time left over.
I Don’t Need Writing Help. Writing clearly and communicating your message is an important part of the process, but what do you do with the piece when you are finished? Getting it to the right media outlets, finding additional angles to a story, and doing the legwork to make sure it all works together is a full time job in itself.
No Budget. It has been demonstrated that every dollar spent on PR can get you a bigger boost than the same dollar spent on advertising. Managing your money is important, but if you need exposure and sales, you need to make room in your budget for some effective PR. You might want to consider a model predicated on “activity and results” versus a “time and retainer” model.
I Have the Time. You might find the time to start a PR campaign today, but the key to success in strategic media relations is consistency. Doing the job when you can sometimes find the time will not get you the results you want. Spending time consistently, building media relationships, monitoring the social graph, and researching opportunities takes a diligent and concerted effort. If results are what you are looking for, you should probably consider bringing on a competent and trustworthy media relations partner.