When fine-tuning a garden business, you've got to make sure all the pieces are in place: sales, product development, customer service, marketing and public relations.
Public relations is a process that many businesses know they need, but they don't fully understand what it is.
PR isn't just about securing media placements--especially in the heyday of content marketing. And, for the public relations process to truly work, the business partner has to understand it fully.
If your garden business is thinking about signing on with a public relations firm, see if you're really ready for the full public relations experience with these five checkpoints.
1. Realistic Results
Every garden and home business wants to be on the cover of O, Oprah's magazine, but it's not going to happen overnight.
It will take at least six months for you to begin to see a return on your investment in public relations. And, it will take roughly three years before you're getting the media placements you've always dreamed about.
Need news to motivate? If your garden business sticks it out in the early stages, you can expect your ROI to be two to five times what you paid.
2. Making the Mold
Public relations does not stand on its own. Instead, it's closely tied to marketing and communications.
That being said, in order for public relations to have the impact you've heard about, your garden business needs to meld public relations into your larger communication goals.
Integrating these communication-centric departments will ensure your business has a cohesive plan that will really pack a punch.
3. Layers of Understanding
Yes, public relations is about media relations. But, in 2013, media relations do not a public relations firm make.
If you understand that public relations is about the many ways to make customers fall in love with your brand and ask for your product by name, then you'll experience PR bliss.
Public relations now encompasses branding, product launches, pr campaigns (of course), social marketing, content marketing, and yes, media relations!
4. Sharing Circle
In order for public relations to have a positive impact on your garden business's goals, the firm needs to know where you are and where you want to be.
The firm should have access to your goals, sales, and other analytics.
Trusting your public relations firm is imperative in order to share this top-secret information. And hey, a non-disclosure agreement doesn't hurt either.
5. Risky Business
What would your business do if you weren't afraid?
When working with a public relations firm, you're agreeing to work with an insanely creative, savvy group of people who love taking risks.
To get people talking about your brand, you're going to need to partake in some risky business.
Embrace their out-of-the-box ideas, and have faith in the public relations team you're going to work with.
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We tip our hats to Crossroads for the image, chock full of statistics about public relations.