These days, you can DIY a lot of things, but PR isn’t necessarily one of them.
You want to get your message out there and generate buzz around your brand or product, but you DON’T want to deal with the costs associated with hiring a PR professional. And these days when social media is king, you figure you might as well do it yourself. After all, it just seems faster, cheaper, and more effective to put out the word via a Tweet, a Facebook post, or a LinkedIn article.
Right? Wrong. Here’s why it pays to hire a PR pro instead of DIYing it:
1. You don’t have to take time away from your business
Giving your brand the right kind and amount of exposure takes a lot of time and effort - valuable resources better spent on developing your product/service or expanding your market. Additionally, today’s PR means more than just getting out press releases (and the subsequent outreach). Like other aspects of marketing, it’s constantly evolving and adopting new strategies and technologies. Can you keep up with these changes and still effectively perform your “day job”? Hiring a PR specialist not only takes this burden off your shoulders - it also ensures that this essential aspect of your marketing is left to professionals with the expertise, experience, and media relationships required.
2. You open doors that would otherwise be closed to you
How do you break through today’s cluttered markets? How do you convince editors swamped with tons of emails to open yours? How do you get a press inundated with trade show invitations to stop by your booth? If you were DIYing your PR, the answer is: with great difficulty. On the other hand, PR professionals not only have savvy media relations skills, they have credibility with a collection of solid media contacts, and their knowledge of who to best reach out to and how.
3. You benefit from wide-ranging expertise
Delegating your PR to an employee means you won’t have the range of skills, time, and the afore-mentioned contacts. Your PR agency, on the other hand, can provide you with the capabilities to handle all of your public relations needs. Plus, it’s nice when your headaches become ours.
4. You gain access to a whole spectrum of tools and resources
So, you think you’re saving money by doing your PR yourself. But wait. How are you going to find your media contacts - journalists, bloggers, and influencers? And even if you did find them, how will you learn their contact details? What will you use to distribute and monitor press releases? How can you access media opportunities, for example, services that connect journalists and sources? Where do you go to track mentions of your brands in traditional and social media? News flash: You’ve got to buy such tools (for example, subscriptions to media databases) yourself. Now we're talking time AND money.
5. You’ll learn what real news is - and how to sell it to the media
Since you’re very close to what’s happening in your company, you can be forgiven for thinking that everything about your brand/offering is a big deal, certainly newsworthy, and should appeal to everyone. Well, most journalists would beg to disagree. PR specialists can spot the truly compelling stories, unique ways to talk about a product or technology, which journalist/outlet specializes in that topic and should be reached out to and, most important, how to sell that story to a particular publication and its audience so that it generates the responses you want.
It’s very tempting to DIY your PR, especially if your budget is limited. But remember that true, results-oriented PR is a complex task that demands time, a thorough understanding of media, and a whole list of tools - from marketing to measurement, from SEO to content creation. For the best results (and the fewest hassles), leave it to the experts.