PR 101: Is your business ready for a publicist?

Photo Credit: Donovan Nathan/HDPhotoNYC

Is your business ready for a publicist? As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to believe a publicist is the missing puzzle piece to your success. You hire a publicist, she gets you press and the rest is history, right?


Unless your business is set up properly and positioned to be profitable, getting major press won’t be the answer to your problems. So how will you know when your business is ready for PR? We sat down with Nikkia McClain, Celebrity Publicist and CEO of Tené Nicole to find out.

Here’s 5 ways to tell if your business is ready for a publicist:

#1 Your business is in a financial position to feasibly hire a publicist or public relations firm.  Do your due diligence by reaching out to a minimum of three PR consultants or PR Agencies to price services and determine whether you can carve out a realistic budget covering the required annual or monthly retainer fee.  

#2 You understand your brand’s public relations needs and goals. Garnering media placement is not the same as creating a campaign that brings awareness to your brand.  PR for any brand needs to be strategic, so have your goals set. Your publicist should be well-versed in the necessary tools and tactics, and also provide their recommendations and help set objectives to ensure those goals are met within agreed time and budget constraints.

#3 Your brand already has marketing and advertising in place and the only thing missing is PR. This means you know the difference between PR, marketing, and advertising. Although they work in concert, they are not the same.  PR is about creating awareness and value of your brand through successful campaigns and product placements. Many shortsighted business owners hire publicists without having a full team in place, and expect them to serve as brand management, marketing, advertising, event planning, and other functions. An ambitious publicist may go beyond the standard scope for their clients; however, you must understand the difference.

#4 You’re ready to relinquish a little control. Most entrepreneurs have a hard time giving up control, and believe they know PR better than those they have hired to do the job. Once you’ve decided to add one to your team, trust that publicists know what they are doing.

#5 You understand public relations is not a race and will not happen overnight. Some months may generate a lot of placement and some may not, depending on what new products and services you are offering and what you have in development.

If you position your brand properly, hiring a publicist can be a very profitable investment. Be sure to set realistic goals, have a reasonable budget, and be ready to do your part in building your brand.

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