Hiring an outside PR expert can be a huge boon for your business.
Public relations (PR) can be a tricky game. On the one hand, you know it’s important to attract media attention to your business—getting coverage from outlets can obviously lead to an impact on your sales numbers. But on the other hand, it can feel schmoozy and inauthentic to constantly pitch yourself to strangers. It can also be hard for marketers to justify hiring a full-time public relations professional when he or she may only be needed for a short launch season.
But outsourcing your PR feels pretty intimidating. It’s a chunk of change, and there’s typically no guarantee attached—any PR pro who guarantees media coverage from particular outlets is probably doing something unethical and should be avoided. However, outsourcing your PR can work wonders for your business and isn’t something to fear.
For starters, what you’re really buying when you pay for a PR professional is contacts. PR agencies have (or should have—make sure you ask these types of questions when interviewing!) extensive contacts within the media industry, making it more likely that they’ll be able to snag coverage for your product or event. By outsourcing your PR, you’re widening your network of contacts and receiving access to people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach.
Secondly, PR pushes are often short periods of time. You’re probably looking for coverage about a specific event or a new product, not just ongoing media attention. Hiring someone to do PR can be costly, and simply having someone on your marketing team take over the effort may not lead to the results you’re hoping for if he or she isn’t a trained publicist. By outsourcing your PR, you could actually be saving quite a bit of money. You’re allowing someone else to flourish in his or her zone of genius while you focus on yours.
Lastly, if you’re worried about your return on investment, know that PR professionals are able to provide you with data. Any PR agency worth its weight will be able to show you extensive case studies and give analytics that prove it has been able to secure results for past clients. After hiring the agency, it will do the same for you and walk you through just how worth it your investment was.
Like any other marketing investment, outsourcing PR can be scary. But instead of trying to learn a new skill set and forge new connections at the drop of a hat, consider outsourcing your media attraction efforts in order to get back to the work that actually needs your attention.