Are you paying too much or too little for your public relations and marketing initiatives? Are you getting the best contacts, content, and coverage for your time and money? To discover your answers, ask these questions of anyone who helps you get noticed. Pay special attention to the answers that are important to you when shifting public relations priorities.
Are We Getting the Media Coverage we Want?
Public relations professionals have insight into what makes a story newsworthy. If you’re not getting the coverage you want, it’s likely they can tell you why. They can also help you understand your successes so you can keep up the momentum.
Are We Telling Important Stories?
“Important” depends on your perspective. You want to tell stories that are important to the people you care about the most. PR professionals can help you better relate to those people.
Do You Know Who to Call When a Story Breaks?
Ask about relationships with any media, bloggers, or other influencers in your area, industry, or niche. PR professionals will also track down which reporters cover which beats and build new relationships over time.
How Can More People Trust Me As an Expert?
Each expert has certain people, certain audiences that really connect with their specialized knowledge. Public relations initiatives and strategy sessions help experts find their ideal audiences. A good public relations professional will also try to stop you if they feel you are making a mistake in the way you share your knowledge.
How Will We Meet Deadlines and Stay Current?
The fastest way to kill a story is to be unavailable or unresponsive to a reporter’s deadline. You and your PR professional will consider the best contacts to interview for any given story, and you will establish important dates and times when availability is key. Editorial calendars will help you plan potential strategies to approach reporters during specific times of the year. Sometimes, PR professionals also get you noticed by linking your business or event with current news.
How Can We Solve My Organization’s Greatest Challenge?
PR professionals help businesses overcome many obstacles to growth and revenue. They revitalize brands, clarify messaging, drum up product interest, and more.
How Do I Help Reporters Help Me?
Interviews are nerve-racking for many people. Ask your PR professional to rehearse potential interview questions with you. Some ready quotes and soundbites will help you stay on message, and you can gather potential information that might be of interest to the media.
If a Public Relations Crisis Occurs, What Do I Do?
Large corporations tend to have crisis plans, but small businesses often neglect these. In the event of a crisis, it’s always best to have some prepared statements and contacts ready. Beyond that, your PR professional can help put the crisis into perspective and focus on the solution rather than the problem.
What Public Relations Results Can We Expect?
From past experience and education, a PR professional can give you an idea of how much time, money, and other resources you may need to invest before you see results. Since not every story is newsworthy in traditional media, ask about other types of exposure for your brand or expertise.
Depending on the answers you discover, you may be able to negotiate a better rate, or you might decide to devote additional time, resources, or personnel to your public relations campaigns to obtain the results you want. You may also choose to rethink your strategy or choice of public relations professional. Whatever you decide, remember that the best public relations strategies are customized for every business or organization, and there will be pros and cons to each choice you make.
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