In the last column we disucssed 3 rules you'll want to follow when hiring a PR firm to represent your business. In this column, you will learn 3 more tips, all cultivated from Nelson Hudes.
Rule #4: Where Art Thou Follow-Up? You may have heard about the PR agencies that launch a new campaign by sending out a flurry of press releases, then wait for the media to call them? That's pretty standard behavior across the industry. The problem with the approach is that it just doesn't work terribly well.
In order for a PR campaign to be successful there needs to be follow-up on the part of the consultant to ensure the media contacts (a) received the release and (b) are prepared to cover the story. That follow-up call is essential to the success of any PR campaign - it makes all the difference between no coverage and major coverage.
Rule #5: Regular Progress Reports : Most PR consultants provide regular status reports indicating who they've spoken with and the results of each contact. If you're not getting regular progress reports you're not getting the feedback you need from your PR consultant. Try and hold monthly meetings with your consultant to discuss the progress being made. That will be the ideal time to see what adjustments, if any, can be made to the PR campaign to insure its success.
Rule #6: Show Me The Press Hits! Any PR person you interview should come loaded down with a huge portfolio of press clippings; what we in the industry call "press hits." If there isn't a packed-to-the-rafters portfolio then something is wrong -- PR people love to show prospective clients what they've accomplished. Hire the person with the fattest portfolio - they've already demonstrated they have what it takes to get press coverage.
Rule #7: Passion Required : Any PR consultant worth her salt will be able to pick up the telephone and pitch your story to any media source on the planet. That's passion; the fervent desire to "get the story out there" and spread the word about your firm's product or service. What you really need is a PR bulldog, determined, focused and dedicated to the task at hand.