Bennis Inc. | Are You Really Ready For A PR Campaign?
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Are You Really Ready For A PR Campaign?

A good PR campaign can be the making of your business. But as with many other things in life, timing is crucial. Many small business and startup owners look for help with their marketing and PR as soon as possible, in the belief that the earlier they get the word out on the street, the better.

The trouble is, there are a few things you need in place before you even contemplate PR, marketing and advertising campaigns for your business. But what are they, exactly? Read on to find out more about how to know you are ready…

Can you prove it?

No PR campaign can take a product that no one has ever seen before and make it sell like hotcakes. You need to ensure you have a grassroots movement on your product at the very least to prevent yourself from throwing money at something that simply doesn’t capture the public’s imagination. Feedback, prototype reviews, customer surveys – all these things need to be in place before you can start scaling out and finding your success.

Do you have the capabilities?

Let’s say you are a small company that hopes to double your sales over the course of 6 months, taking you from 500 units per month to 1,000, for example. You hire a PR professional to help you with your strategy and spread the word far and wide. It’s successful – wildly so, and your sales go through the roof. But you don’t have the products to sell immediately due to lack of finances and resource, your new customers get angry, and you never see them again. Don’t let this happen, as it can be tricky to pull yourself back. Sort out your cash flow, look for a business loan(s), and make sure you have the ability to scale if need be. Many businesses have crashed when they are overwhelmed, so don’t let yourself add to that number.  

Do you have something to say?

A good PR campaign can be explosive when the company it promotes has an awesome story to tell. But unless you are lucky, the chances are that even the best PR agency in the country will be unable to make a dent in your market if you don’t have a compelling message. And make no mistake about it – it needs to be compelling. The reality is that there are somewhere in the region of 11,000 startups created every single hour of every single day around the world. If you haven’t got a story, why do you think journalists will care? Or anyone else for that matter? While a PR expert can undoubtedly help you refine your story, flesh it out, and make it compelling – you need at least the kernel of an idea to base it on.

Are you in a race?

None of this is to say that you should wait until everything is perfect. If you are in a competitive industry, for example, there may be a necessity to get your name out there as soon as possible. If you need to scale fast – and have the capability to do so – then hiring an agency or PR professional could be critical to your success, not to mention your survival!

Do you feel your business is ready to implement a comprehensive public relations campaign? Or do you need to get some other items in line first before you hit the ground running?

Stephanie Shirley

stephanie@bennisinc.com