We’ve probably all seen articles about how startups can do their own PR.
While these articles contain helpful tips, and it’s certainly true that you can do your own PR, it can be overwhelming for startups who are already trying to do it all—not to mention with a small staff on a tight budget.
1. A PR pro brings expertise to the table that takes many years to amass. PR consultants are steeped in strategies and tactics to get your business out there and get noticed. From press releases to speaking gigs to media relations, a consultant can help you come up with the best strategy to fit your needs and then carry it out.
2. Once you have them on board, you can ask for advice on any number of things related to your marketing and overall company strategy. Clients often ask me to take a look at a new website, brochure or logo they’re designing, or for advice on a strategic decision they need to make. If you bring a seasoned pro in to help, they’ll have a depth of experience to draw upon and can be a valuable sounding board for you.
3. They often are expert writers, as well, and can handle writing projects ranging from customer case studies to web text. Don’t feel like writing that newsletter text this month? Need help crafting a speaking proposal? Want to publish a contributed article? Ask your PR consultant to help.
4. They keep their eyes open for opportunities for you. A good PR pro knows where to look for opportunities and notices when something comes across his or her desk that may be a good fit for you.
5. They think like a reporter. Many of us in PR have experience as a reporter somewhere in our background. This means you learn how to interview sources, research stories and put them together. This training is invaluable in helping PR pros understand how reporters think and what’s newsworthy. Once you’ve been a reporter, you’re in a much better position to understand what makes a good story.
6. They get results. Sure, you can do your own PR, but just because you can, does that mean you should? How steep a learning curve will there be before you’re able to get results? A good PR freelancer can hit the ground running to bring some early successes to the effort that can be leveraged into more opportunities.
7. They provide an outside view of the business and the competition. Although they become, in essence, a member of the team, they aren’t sleeping, eating and drinking the company Kool-Aid, so they can provide an unbiased perspective on strategy and direction.
8. They help you get the most bang for your buck. Good freelancers will be more than worth their fee because they find ways to add value to your business beyond their focus on PR. They’ll bring fresh ideas to the table and give you helpful input on all your communications, internal and external.
So, if you’ve tried going it on your own, maybe it’s time to give some thought to hiring a PR pro to bring some sanity to your world—and some visibility to your business.