Hiring a PR consultant creates the potential for exponential returns.
If you are thinking about hiring a PR consultant, agency, or a communications services expert, or if you are thinking about doing it yourself, I predict two immediate outcomes.
1. You’ll fail first and learn by failing.
2. You’ll make progress toward your goals.
Going in, know that failure is learning, and learning is a roadmap to progress, and progress is the precursor to success. In that way, whatever your goals and whatever your approach, you’ll find that investing in PR will generate positive returns – often in dollars and always in knowledge.
Frankly, good PR creates the potential for exponential returns. How so?
Potential PR Returns
When hiring a PR consultant or agency, know that traditional public relations services are driven by media relations (i.e., working with media for the purpose of informing the public of a client’s mission, policies, and practices in a positive, consistent, and credible manner. [Source]). Strictly speaking, many PR agencies are not your social media team or your SEO consultant; they are your liaison with the press.
Secondly, there is no guarantee that the agency will be able to execute its media relations strategy. There is no guarantee they’ll be able to place your story in the right outlet at the right time. There is no guarantee the client story will sync with the news cycle, or the preferred journalist, or the target publication. And, unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the audience will actually care about the story if it indeed runs.
(On a related and important point, if an agency guarantees they can place your story, they’re either dishonest (!), working with unscrupulous journalists (!), or surreptitiously paying for placement (!). This creates a reputational risk for clients – which, ironically, is the opposite outcome PR services are supposed to provide.)
“Okay,” you ask, “If there is no guarantee of success, why should I hire a PR consultant in the first place?”
That’s a very good question. You wouldn’t buy tires for your car without the knowing the tires are, at the very least, round and inflatable. Why buy PR without the confidence it will get you where you want to go?
Because if you don’t hire a PR consultant or attempt PR yourself, then the probability that your brand, business, or issue indeed make it into the public consciousness is reduced. Big time. Significantly. Nearly zero.
It’s like trying to get from Point A to Point B in that car with no tires.
On the other hand, by hiring a PR consultant you instantly increase your chances of getting into the news and into the minds of your audience – and thereby driving sales, donations, brand equity, public policy, etc.
And yet, there remains no guarantee of success.
For that reason, good PR consultants and agencies are honest about the potentiality of their services. No guarantees, just potential.
Exponential PR Outcomes
By hiring a PR consultant or agency, you create the potential for exponential returns.
How so? PR is a project, and a good project has a process. In PR, research is first, and it’s Socratic. There will be a lot of questions.
What are your goals? Who are your competitors, idols, and partners? What makes you special? What is your message? Which owned, earned, and paid media channels are you focusing on? What is your timeline? What is your budget?
Next, your PR consultant will develop a comprehensive, research-based PR strategy aligned with your objectives. A good strategy will be customized to the client and articulate tactics and tailored services. Depending on your experience, the tactics and services may be new, tried and true, tried and discarded, or ongoing and simply in need of a refresh.
The following are some cornerstone elements and tactics, many of which can be done in parallel.
Brand positioning and message
Define your unique value proposition and message to ensure it resonates with your target audience. A clear and compelling brand attracts customers, differentiates your organization from competitors, and creates growth opportunities.
Media relations and coverage
Leverage or establish relationships with journalists, bloggers, influencers, and media outlets. Pitch newsworthy client stories to media for coverage. Positive media exposure can significantly enhance brand awareness, generate leads, and attract potential customers, opening doors for exponential growth.
Thought leadership programming
Identify speaking opportunities, industry conferences, and media platforms where clients can showcase their expertise and their message. Establishing yourself as a trusted authority can attract new customers, catalyze valuable partnerships, and create vertical growth.
Content creation and distribution
Create compelling content (e.g., webcasts, podcasts, infographics, video, blogs) that aligns your brand voice, message, and audience interests. By delivering value, you build brand equity and trust and attract positive attention.
Crisis management planning
Protect your reputation by preparing to navigate potentially challenging situations and maintaining stakeholder trust. Safeguarding your brand’s reputation is vital for long-term growth and sustainability.
Performance measurement and learning
Sophisticated digital PR consultants track and analyze media coverage, social media engagement, website traffic, and other metrics so they can assess PR impact. You can take those insights and make data-driven adjustments to optimize your PR for exponential growth.
Launching Your PR Campaign
You’ve discussed your options with your PR consultant or agency, made any necessary changes, and are ready to get started. Now your PR team, or you if you have the resources and inclination, will execute your strategy, tactic by tactic.
Instantly, you’re one media hit, one viral post, one top-tier interview, or one piece of high-quality content away from massive exposure. That’s exponential growth, delivered at lightspeed.Longer term, you are systematically and consistently spreading your message through a sustained PR campaign.
There will be early failure and learning. But you’ll gain exposure that converts into sales, community, a social movement, or a public policy, whichever your goal.
Why Hire a PR Consultant
We’re happy to schedule an initial consultation.