7 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HIRE A PUBLICIST
The truth is in many ways, we all have a publicist in our family or we are our own pr persons. When your family members try to hook you up e.g., “Adewale is a great guy, you should meet him.” The person that just said that just showed you what pr is. But when it comes to business or your personal brand, getting clear on what will help you grow your brand can make or break your image and your bank account. In my 15 years in Branding, Publicity and Marketing, I know that people consistently mix the 3 segments and the funniest of all is, when you expect your publicist to be your sales person. These 7 tips will help you get clear so you can work with your pr team to make the most of what you are representing or selling.
- KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRANDING, PUBLIC RELATIONS, ADVERTISING AND MARKETING?
I will make this simple using examples we can relate to. This was on the back on my old business cards.
Public Relations is:
Basically, the job of your publicist is to provide PUBLIC opportunities to help expose you or your brand (which you should always be working on). It provides opportunity for the Marketing person to convert that publicity to dollars. But you have to repeat it multiple times (advertising) so that people remember. So, you usually need all 4 on your team for a very effective strategy.
- BE CLEAR ON YOUR CUSTOMER PROFILE
If you have an idea of your target audience, It can help you identify which publicist to go for and can put your publicist to work faster. You should know the following as a business owner before you hire a publicist
- Your gender market i.e. – Male, Female, Boys, Girls, Students
- Their Age Bracket i.e.- Age 10-18, 20- 25, 30-45
- A clear value statement of what will you be providing to them
- Why they should pick you over the competition
The beautiful thing is, if you come up with this, a good publicist will help you fine tune it if need be, and you’re half way there because when you have a profile of your ideal target audience, it makes reaching them that much easier and faster.
- INTERVIEW YOUR PROSPECTIVE PUBLICIST
The truth is PR cost money, but public relations is so far the only way to get exposure to millions of people at one time. That opportunity is invaluable. So before you make that financial commitment, you should sincerely want to know what your partnership with your publicist could do for your brand and how you together can help your target market. So do not be afraid to interview your publicist. Here are 7 questions you should ask your prospective publicists.
- How many years has he/she been doing that form of PR?
- What are the top 3-5 results they can share with you about their successful campaigns?
- Who were their toughest clients and how did that relationship end?
- Do they focus on local, national or international publicity?
- What major media do they have good relationships with?
- Are their efforts more prominent on print, TV, radio or online media?
- Do they charge by results (À la carte) or with a monthly retainer?
- PICKING YOUR PUBLICIST
Declaring your customer profile helps you almost immediately weed out the publicist you should approach. An entertainment industry publicist may have no clue how to market to teenagers. They can probably come up with a plan, but you save time and money going to the right publicist for your target market and industry. Find and contact publicists that have experience in your industry, genre or target market.
- BE FLEXIBLE
Let’s imagine you have your demographic information, you are clear on your goals and you find the perfect publicist. And then he or she tells you “you need to re-brand, what you have now is just not going to work for the media you want to receive. Please do not be stubborn or in-flexible. Make the changes. If they can show you proven results of their success conversion, please invest in updating your brand to get the results you desire.
- HAVE A REALISTIC MEDIA WISH LIST
A wish list is the ideal media you would like your publicist to get you into via TV, Print, Online or Radio. I say realistic because I have had prospective clients in the past tell me they want to be in Vogue and their branding is no were near ideal even for a daily newspaper. Be realistic about the type of publications you want to get in. If your brand is aligned with that media’s image then you have a higher chance of getting featured. But remember it may take months. I once had a magazine call me 6 months after my pitch and I had 24 hours to get them everything they needed. We made it and my client was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine.
- BE PATIENT
Public Relations is just that “RELATIONS” It’s building a relationship with the world about you, your brand. Just as you don’t always open your door to every stranger that you meet, you have to see your new brand as a stranger to the public, the world and the more they get to “know you” the more they feel more comfortable with you and eventually you become besties. Twitter is a perfect example. Most of us who joined twitter when it started where completely not comfortable with it. And now we are all besties with Twitter and that took almost what, 7 years. YES, so be patient and give people a chance to know what you, your product or service is about.
Everything you say or do is Public Relations. Be aware of how you are relating to the world. Imagine if your product were a person, what kind of person would you want to be friends with? That should help you be gentle with your brand and it’s message. GOODLUCK.
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