Knowing how and when to engage a firm is important, particularly since a good communications firm does so much more than media relations, which is often the perception. There’s no easy answer, but I recommend asking yourself a few questions to begin:
• How do you imagine a PR firm helping your business?
• What are your business objectives? And, if you’ve thought about them, what are your communications goals?
• What’s the overall brand identity you envision for your business? Do you have a plan for establishing the brand?
From there, dig deeper:
• How do you plan to grow your business? To what extent have you considered media relations, social media and marketing?
• Can you clearly articulate your value proposition to the media and your target audiences?
• Are you aware of your competitors and how they use PR and marketing?
• Are you prepared for interactions with the press?
The beauty of this process is that the answers to the above questions don’t have to be “yes” or “no.” The purpose is to get a sense of where your needs are and how PR may be able to help you. A smart firm should help you determine what’s best strategically, tactically, and timing-wise. That may include developing the brand with you from the ground up or taking what you’ve already created to market. There’s no downside to starting that conversation sooner rather than later.
Stay on message,