4 Things to Consider Before You Get a PR Team

How to know if you're really ready for the media coverage you crave.

learn more about Matthew Bretzius

By Matthew Bretzius

Dennis Ku | Shutterstock.com

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the most exciting times in the life of a young company or entrepreneur is when their product or services are ready to be unveiled to the world. With that excitement however, comes the realization of the task that still lies ahead: How do we get people to notice us?

Then the light bulb goes on: We need PR!

Generally though, when most non-public relations professionals think of PR, they lean solely toward media relations and news coverage. But media relations is only a small part of the PR puzzle -- and an even smaller part of the overall integrated marketing strategy that's really necessary to take your business to new heights.

So how do you know if you're really ready for an integrated marketing strategy that includes the media coverage you crave? Here are four things to consider:

Related: 6 Reasons Your PR Is Failing

1. Do you have something to say?

Gaining visibility comes down to being seen and heard. A product launch, funding announcement or high profile personnel hire is a great place to start but should not be solely relied upon to build a company profile. You are an expert in your field -- use this to your advantage by getting involved in various industry discussions.

One of the easiest ways to gain media coverage is by discussing current trends and news within your specific vertical, with a perspective has broad industry appeal. This enables you to become a recognized thought leader within your industry, bringing instant credibility to your brand.

Then the next time a reporter researches your company while deciding on whether or not to write about your announcement, they'll see you're legit.

It's important for you to have something to say -- and not always about yourself.

2. Do you have proper expectations?

This is one of the first discussions that should occur at the onset of a new campaign so both parties can get a realistic idea of what is attainable, potential challenges and end goals.

Too often, a young company will say, "We'll take whatever we can get," which really lets the firm they've hired off the hook for producing measurable results. At the same time, it's important for you to understand that it's unlikely you'll be on the cover of The New York Times on day one -- no matter how good looking you are.

To use a baseball analogy, have a discussion with your new firm and decide what your goals are in the sense of singles, doubles, triples and home runs. Singles and doubles are the easiest to obtain, the most constant, and they keep your rally alive. Triples and home runs are less common but have a major impact. This way your campaign -- and business -- will really score.

Related: The 3 Forces That Will Pre-Sell Your Products for You

3. Do you have a plan for leverage?

It's an awesome feeling to see your company's name in an article or to create a great piece of marketing content internally to share with the masses. But your efforts can't stop there. This is where an integrated marketing strategy really is crucial to ensure you reach current and potential clients, investors and industry partners.

Don't simply post a link to your website -- use a multi-pronged approach that includes social media, email, your sales team and self-publishing to increase value. Many companies don't fully utilize the power of their positive press by proactively sharing it. Instead potential customers and partners are left to find it on their own -- an ironic twist since these companies are struggling to get noticed to begin with.

4. Do you have the resources?

Obviously money is a factor here, but there are other resources that are just as important. I'm talking about personnel -- you and other members of company leadership. While the firm takes on the bulk of the work, there are times where they will need access to you to discuss trends, campaign ideas, schedule interviews or ask questions.

You are, after all, the expert in your field, so it's important that you make yourself available. If you're hoping to simply write a check, then "set it and forget it," you may not get the results you're looking for.

Any good PR or marketing firm will be flexible and work with you to meet your needs -- whether you're ready or not. But following this guide and coming prepared enables you to earn results everyone can be happy with -- and maybe hit that grand slam you're looking for.

Related: 4 Requirements for Self-Serve Media Relations

Matthew Bretzius

Vice President at FischTank Marketing and PR

Matt Bretzius is a vice president at FischTank Marketing and PR, a marketing and communications firm based on Wall Street. Bretzius has worked in public relations both in-house and agency-side, helping startups to Inc. 500|5000 companies amplify their message using story angles that resonate with relevant media outlets. When it comes to executing a marketing and PR campaign, Bretzius believes it takes a strong mix of media relations, digital marketing, copywriting and social media to achieve desired results that move the barometer. He holds a BA from West Virginia University and a master's from Drexel University.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.


Are You Being Too Soft as a Leader? You Might Need to Try a Different Approach

At the core of leadership, we must provide purpose, direction and motivation to our employees — but not everyone is using the right leadership style to offer these things. Here's why you might need to consider a more rigid approach.

Starting a Business

Shopify's President Breaks Down the Best Ways to Grow Your Ecommerce Business

Entrepreneur magazine Editor in Chief Jason Feifer and Shopify President Harley Finkelstein discuss the best strategies to grow an ecommerce business.

Business News

I Live on a Cruise Ship for Half of the Year. Look Inside My 336-Square-Foot Cabin with Wraparound Balcony.

I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year. Life at "home" can be tight. Here's what it's really like living on a cruise ship.

Business News

American Airlines Sued After Teen Dies of Heart Attack Onboard Flight to Miami

Kevin Greenridge was traveling from Honduras to Miami on June 4, 2022, on AA Flight 614 when he went into cardiac arrest and became unconscious mid-flight.