Monday, October 19, 2009

How to Hire and Work with Your Publicist or PR Coach.

Think about it. DO YOU REALLY KNOW if you have the right person to help you with your dream?

“The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.” Ray Kroc

So you don’t know anything about PR and you hope the people you hire know their stuff. But how do you even find, interview, hire and work with this key link in your media campaign?

What does a publicist or PR coach do?

• Prepares or evaluates promotional material such as press kits, press releases and enticing emails
• Submits news releases and E-Blasts to media outlets or gives you the services to use
• Schedules radio and/or TV interviews; or shows you how to deliver a snappy phone pitch in 15 to 30 seconds
• Schedules local and national appearances and/or book signings or provides you with people to call
• Has a plethora of resources, contacts, and connections in the industry & they invest time in developing and nurturing strong relationships with their media contacts
• Gives you creative ways to market your book (keeping your market in mind) and knows exactly what you need to accomplish a publicity campaign

Guidelines for Picking a Publicist or PR coach:

• When meeting with a prospective publicist/PR coach, casually ask for the names of three clients who could recommend her services. If she feels good about the work she's done, she will quickly and enthusiastically come up with several names on the spot. Or just look on their website and contact the clients directly yourself.
• When you have the reference on the phone, ask him to name the best thing the publicist has done for his company. Ask specifically about results.
• Ask the publicist what she does best. Her answer should be something you think you need. If she specializes in something you don't need, she may not be right for you. (One point of caution: be open to new ideas!)
• Ask yourself, "Is this person as smart as I am?" A good business person always strives to surround himself with geniuses! At least, you will want to hire someone who seems very bright.
• Don't just ask the publicist what she costs—ask her why she costs what she costs (and do a comparison to other firms).
• Take note of whether or not she asks intelligent, thoughtful questions about your company. You don't want a publicist who makes a lot of (wrong) assumptions!
• Define up front what a successful marketing plan looks like, and determine a schedule for deliverables. It is imperative that both parties begin the relationship with the same expectations.
• Don't be stiffed by your publicist's vendors or settle for poor quality. Ask her how she chooses vendors, who her vendors are, and why. Leave vendor options open; three bids is not unusual. Does the vendor's portfolio of work wow you? Even one "dud" should disqualify them, because if they are capable of doing bad work, they will do it for you.
• Be sure she is a team player.

For a good PR Coach that really cares & gives you contacts - but pray about first!

See too and join!

Pam Perry, PR Coach & Social Media Marketing Expert

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