When To Hire a PR/Marketing Firm
We live in a world where small businesses are created every day. Technology has made it easier for us to communicate, and social media has allowed us to connect and engage with our consumers. While this may be beneficial to small business owners, it also adds more tasks to their already full plates.
The key element for any business to thrive is marketing and public relations. If you build it, no, they will not come because consumers must first know that your product or service even exists. Marketing can be an arduous yet fun and rewarding task, but it does take time, communication skills, and a true understanding of the current media landscape.
When determining if you should hire a marketing or public relations firm you should ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have the knowledge or expertise?
No longer is marketing/pr simply a classified ad or TV commercial. Small businesses owners must know how to create a social media presence on top of other tasks including print ads, submitting press releases, search engine marketing, and much more. In addition, it is imperative to know who your target market is and the vehicles that they use to consume media. If you fail to research these things, your message may not reach the right audience at the right time.
Do I have the bandwidth to effectively manage a campaign?
To be frank, marketing/pr takes time from conducting research, building relationships, and building an effective strategy. Small business owners have a ton of other things to focus on, so at times, their communications efforts may be treated like a step child when they have an "I can do it all myself" mentality. If your company consistently has new updates, product launches, or events, it is best to work with a small firm or freelance partner so that you can focus solely on growing your business.
Do I have the contacts, and do I know how to properly reach out to or approach the media?
Besides the contacts in your personal email list, do you have a robust network? PR firms are trained in pitching the media and they usually have a robust contact list that they can tap into for your advantage. By working with a PR professional you can also plug into pre-existing relationships that they may have which would benefit your company when trying to release a story to the public.
Can my business handle the benefits that PR or marketing can bring?
So let's say you do decide to hire a firm and the response is overwhelming. Does your company have the bandwidth to take on new business or clients? These are key factors to think about before putting any type of communications program in place because you always want to keep your current and potential customers satisfied.
In a nutshell, if your small business needs more exposure and you simply do not have the time nor the expertise, I would suggest working with a small firm even it it’s on a case-by-case basis. Most of the time you will find that small firms and freelancers have reasonable pricing from a fee standpoint and usually they also are able to pay closer attention to your brand. They can provide fresh new ideas and give insight, while allowing owners to have one less thing to worry about while orchestrating the day-to-day tasks of their small business.