5. Do you have time?
Are you accessible? PR isn’t something you just hand off to an agency and your part is done – it’s a collaborative process the whole way through. Before investing your budget into PR, make sure you can be available on a moment’s notice to approve a press release, take a media interview, overnight samples to a shoot, get us a high-res image, etc.
Media requests are always urgent and usually require action day-of, overnight or even within minutes. Most requests, of course, your PR team can handle, but there will be requests where we need you – and you must be available. Saying “no” or “I can’t” to an editor is like flushing your PR budget down the toilet.
6. Do you have patience?
Contrary to many an opinion, PR is not magic. Publicists don’t just wave magic wands and poof – you’re in the next issue of Vogue. We know that PR is an investment and that you want to see results right away.
PR, however, is a strategy of consistency and patience, and you must be in it for the long haul to see effective results. Those coveted magazines you want? They work on 3-6 month leadtimes. Meaning if you sign with an agency August 1st, the soonest you could possibly see anything come out in a monthly mag would be November – and that’s not to say that you will have a hit in November.
Maybe the editor wants to hold onto your product until December when they’re already running a related story, or maybe you were slated for November but at the last minute the story got pushed back to December, or even January. Yes, you will certainly see press hits come out much sooner in short-lead media like blogs, newspaper, weekly magazines, etc, but you get my drift. Rule of thumb in PR is 6 months to see effective results. Patience is a virtue.
7. Are you realistic?
Once again, we’re publicists, not magicians. If you go into a PR relationship thinking your product will be in every major magazine and morning show – think again. What we do is get your story to the right people.
What editors do with that information is out of our hands – we can’t make Oprah Magazine write about you, just like we can’t make The Today Show run a segment with your product. That said, our job is to consistently pitch you to every media outlet under the sun that is a fit for your brand. Are you going to appear in every single media outlet? Probably not. But if you’re not in your dream magazine one month, be patient – it might happen the next.
8. Are you willing to let go?
You hired us for a reason, so trust us. It is absolutely your right to ask as many questions as you need to understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, but there’s a fine line between collaborating and micromanaging.
Yes, PR is most certainly a collaborative process, but micromanaging will only hold us up from doing the job you paid us to do – so let us do it. And, listen to us. We’re experts on shedding your brand in the best light possible, so if we say your website needs a revamp, revamp it. If we suggest you perhaps use a different model or photographer for your next look book, do it. Once you’re ready to let go and fully trust us to get the job done, you’re ready for PR.
9. Are you willing to communicate?
Remember – the most important element to a successful PR relationship is communication. Happy with something? Tell us. Not happy with something? Tell us. Having an open dialogue with your PR team will go a long way in ensuring not only the success of your relationship, but ultimately, the success of your brand.
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