GROW! Marketing and Public Relations Tips

Why Public Relations Consultants Are a Good Thing (Part 3)

Posted by Susan McCoy on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 @ 10:44 AM
Listen to this anecdote by Sheldon Baker, Senior Partner
at Baker Dillon Group, and see if you can determine what this company could have done better:

Recently, I met with a retired business executive (we'll call him Tom), I hadn't seen for over 15 years. During our visit, Tom and I talked about the many public relations strategies that were developed for his company. He originally hired me to help orchestrate the public relations strategy of his firm that was merging with another company. One of initial projects included developing a new corporate brochure that required design, photography and copywriting.

The brochure strategy called for a professional-looking, mature man to appear on the cover. I suggested hiring a professional model to participate in the photo shoot. Tom said, "We have someone in shipping who we can use." While I voiced my concerns, the client said he felt it would save the company money.
photo shootWe scheduled the photo shoot for the following week at the company's office. The designer, photographer and I gathered at the client's office and arranged the shoot location. The participant, who was instructed to wear a white shirt and tie, revealed the morning of the photo shoot he didn't own a white shirt and tie. So a company representative made a mad dash to a local retail outlet to purchase the necessary items.

A few hours later after positioning the photographer and subject, it appeared we were ready to go, when the photographer called me over to look through his camera's lens. "See a problem?" he said. I viewed the scene and noticed our male subject had a vision problem. He had a glass eye that did not allow him to focus into the right direction.

I called my client aside and informed him of the problem. He stood there motionless. Finally he said, "What should we do?" As the project leader, I said I realize this is a potentially embarrassing situation. We need to continue the shoot, thank your staffer for assisting us and move forward with the original suggestion - hire a professional model.

Tom gave me approval to hire the model and we reconvened at the same location the following week. The photographer, designer and I again were on location and completed the project, and ultimately the design of the new brochure.

The take away from this story is two-fold.
  1. Trust your PR consultant when they make suggestions and recommendations for your marketing strategy. Assuming they are experienced, they have been in this situation before. 
  2. Realize that being frugal can often backfire. By the entire creative team having to return the following week, it incurred additional development time and thus increased the budget. The company did not save money.
While this situation was originally a frustrating situation for all, we were able to overcome this project roadblock. If you hire a PR consultant, allow them to do their job. In the end, it's a win-win for all. Just ask Tom.

Trust Garden Media.  Find out how we can help you build your business by building your reputation. Get a free 30 min consultation today.

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Topics: lawn and garden public relations, hiring a public relations person, garden PR consultant, lawn & garden public relations, garden industry public relations

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