Start up 101 Public Relations. Do I need a PR Agency?

NY Public Relations
NY Public Relations
Madeline Johnson Public Relations

Of course you need a public relations action plan, you already know it’s a necessary part of growing your business.  How else will anyone find you? The moment you decide to start up any business, you should be considering how you will communicate the benefits of your product and services and how  you are going to build buzz about your brand? From your package design to your Facebook cover to the key words in your Google Ad campaign. It’s all important.

Everything you decide to create, from a website to a tweet, to a marketing brochure, needs to be communicated to grow your new brand.  Whether you do it, or you hire a professional, either way, it’s a must.

Now, do you need a PR agency to do this for you? Check out this article on Forbes.com written by contributor Cheryl Conner for some industry insight about what PR agencies can do for you.   It’s not everything, but it’s a start.

The real question you need to ask yourself and your team is, “Are we ready to hire a PR agency?”

Many clients come to us with that question and this is what we tell them.

  1. Did you set aside a budget for marketing & PR in your business plan? – whether it’s a plan in your head, or a 125 page document.  Many businesses will allocate between 2-3 percent of projected growth gross revenues, but in the beginning stages of a business, that should be more like 20%. Read this article for more detail on how much you should expect to spend on getting the word out.
  1. Have you really created the greatest customer/client experience? You might have a great new idea, but have you really considered every detail of the user experience and compared what you have to offer to your competition?  We’re not just talking about the UX design of your website, but the entire life cycle of your product or service. There is no room in today’s overcrowded start up marketplace for a less than killer customer experience.

Some PR specialists can help you design campaigns that consider the customer first, like us. Wondering if your user experience is really top-notch? How to a create clear communications plan? Drop us a line,  we’d be happy to speak with you before you start building buzz.

  1. Will you be able to put in the time for PR? Just because you hire a communications consultant, specialist or agency, doesn’t mean you are going to be able to sit back and see your company on television, in magazines and reviewed on influential blogs. You will be busy doing interviews, offering tips and advice to journalists and creating new product and service launches to stay in the news and producing them six to nine months an advance. Be sure to carve out that time.

These are just a few of many questions you have to ask yourself before investing in a PR agency. We’d love to hear from you with yours.

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