Connect These 6 People on Your Team With Your PR Firm
To ensure everyone is on the same page, make sure you your public relations firm has access to key team members.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You just scored your first --or second -- big round of funding and are looking to ramp up your company's branding efforts. You have hired people to help with the company's image but there is a disconnect between the outside PR team and your staff. This lack of cohesiveness can be detrimental in boosting marketing efforts for you company.
Using contractors is no reason not to treat them like a team. So to ensure everyone is on the same page make sure your public relations firm has access to the key people who can help shape strategy and facilitate your media campaign. Prepare a roster with the necessary details-- name, role, email address, phone number, time zone, and preferred method of contact -- for the following members of your team:
1. Sales trainer, business coach and agents
By working with your sales trainer, business coach, or agent, your PR professional is able to gain a better understanding of your long-term goals to be able to contribute to those. Plus, they can help a PR pro understand what sort of demographic you are trying to target – something entrepreneurs often don't know.
To target your media efforts, it is important for you to have a well-defined business niche. Many people who brand themselves outside of their business as a speaker or author fail to keep this is mind and believe they are trying to reach everyone.
If your market is "everyone," your media efforts will be as scattered. It is important to establish your niches early on in your PR efforts, so that your long-term strategy is airtight. When developing a PR strategy, it is important for your publicist to know who your market is. From there, they are able to define what your target market reads, watches and listens to and what messages make sense for you.
2. Executive assistant
Entrepreneurs have a lot on their mind, from making payroll to being responsible for guiding an organization, it is understandable that the minutiae of life-- like their calendar and booking flights-- sometimes escapes them. It is important for your PR pro to be able to schedule interviews for you, ensure that travel is booked, and do whatever it is that you don't want to be bothered with.
3. Web team
When you hire two separate firms-- one to handle your PR and one to handle your web presence-- it can be easy to manage, as long as you put them in contact with each other and they are on the same page.
For example, you don't want the web team to push information out on social media if the PR firm is offering a story as an exclusive to a publication. Also, sometimes, the web team will need something from the PR firm, like putting a release out on a newswire, and, sometimes, the PR firm will need something from the web team. It is also important that links to stories published about you get added to your website and that stories published about you are immediately deployed on social media to maximize their visibility.
4. Image consultant
When you hired your image consultant, you assumed that they knew all that there was to know about dressing others for success. Unfortunately, if they don't have other clients who are in the media spotlight, they may not know the ins and outs of dressing for television.
If you put your PR firm in contact with your image consultant, your image consultant can remember all of the finer points of dressing for an interview that you forgot from media training.
If you publish books to increase your visibility in the marketplace, chances are that you are working through a self-publishing company. Your PR pro needs to be able to hold them accountable for a saleable product.
There are, too often, books that are already dead in the water before they get to your PR pro. It is impossible to create buzz about a book that has a less-than-professional cover, has not been professionally edited, or is, in some other way, severely deficient.
I have worked with many authors, and even those who are self-publishing seem uncomfortable about speaking up. you don't want to have those uncomfortable conversations, let your PR firm be the bad guy – or at the very least just be involved.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it's surprising how often entrepreneurs attempt to limit direct contact with publicity firms. While your PR pro can do much through your assistant, there are times that you will need to ensure that you are available to them.
With a little more organization and connectivity, everyone can work together to ensure that your personal branding PR campaign is executed as seamlessly as possible.