When you hire a PR agency to help you achieve coverage for your business, it’s important to bear in mind that your contribution, as well as their skill and effort, will dictate the success of the campaign. Good PRs will do everything in their power to make achieving great PR coverage as easy and smooth as possible for you, however, we can’t make national coverage out of nothing. We have to work with you to make content worth sharing.
To get the most out of your PR, there are things that you can and must do to support your PR team’s efforts. A PR agency or consultant should become an extension of your business. We work best when we work alongside our clients to achieve maximum impact, rather than having to work around them or against the tide.
So, how can you help your PR consultancy achieve the best results possible for you and your business?
Give them time
PRs completely understand that you’re likely to be incredibly busy. Running a business and getting on with the day-to-day means you have a lot to do and we want to ensure you’re able to continue doing what you do best without disrupting your day. That being said, if PR really matters to you and your business, you absolutely need to be willing to give it some of your time and attention. Like any aspect of your business, you will need to invest in it in order to see any return.
You will need to communicate with your PR. You will need to take time to ensure they are up to date with business news, exciting projects and upcoming events. You need to take the time out to offer your expertise in the industry. Good PRs are very good at taking up short periods of time throwing questions your way, and turning that into a fully fleshed out piece. That’s certainly what we always try to do – maximise content!
Not only will the business owners and senior leads need to give some of their time, but so will other members of your team. Taking time out to give to PR is incredibly valuable as it’s often these casual check-ins and conversations that lead to great PR-worthy content. It’s important to give a variety of people within the business a chance to talk to your PR as this in turn will enable your PR to give them a voice in the media. Allow your employees and colleagues to become your advocates. You will need to carve out this time and encourage this across the business. This leads me onto point number two…
Lead by example
If you don’t have the time for PR then why should anyone else in your business make time? Your employees follow your lead. If you don’t demonstrate to them the value of offering your time and expertise to PR, then they have no reason to believe that it’s something they should be engaging with.
Client or customer work should always come first. We understand this. But remember that PR is a time and energy investment that will generate great results in the long run. If you ever need a reminder of the benefits of PR, be sure to check out our blog all about them.
And remember, we can turn a little into a lot, but we can’t turn nothing into something.
Engage on social media
Social media is a huge part of any good PR strategy. When your PRs have secured you great coverage, make sure you maximise it by sharing it across social media. Show it to clients, prospective clients, fellow industry professionals, family and friends. PR is about getting you known for the great work you do. If you’re not excited about it when why should the publications you’re asking to feature you be?
This is also another way you can lead by example. It’s really important that your whole team is engaging with the content online. You want your employees to feel proud of being associated with your business and supporting them by sharing their thought leadership and shouting about their great work is a fantastic way to encourage that.
We’ve shared a number of resources regarding social media sharing you can check out for more information on this.
Understand the process
Take the time to ask questions and understand the process. PR fame doesn’t happen overnight and there are reasons why your dream publication might not feature your business at a certain time. Your PR is on your side and you can work through barriers together. It should never feel like you against them.
Understand what it takes to hit your PR targets
Expanding on that, make sure you understand what it takes – both on your part and your PR’s – to meet your PR targets. For example, national publications often require incredibly quick turn arounds, TV shows can pull your slot last minute despite having taken hours of your time filming and organising, and some publications will ask to see your financials. If you make a national your target publication, but then don’t have the time to offer them comments within the 24 hour deadline, don’t be surprised when you don’t make the final cut. Your PR will work really hard to get you the best slots, but they can’t make journalists or publications change their rules for you.
Be clear about your expectations
Finally, be absolutely clear about your expectations from the get go. Be up front about what publications you’d like to target, how much time you’re willing to give and what you expect to see in return. Don’t move the goal post half way through a campaign (eg. decide you want national coverage when we’ve tailored a release to local publications). Remember that output also depends on your input, so if you agree one thing and don’t deliver, your PR’s output may change too. I can’t stress enough how resourceful good PR consultants can be – but again, we need a start point.