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How to Hire a PR Consultant for Your Business

If DIY-ing your own press releases, media pitches and PR management isn’t an option for your brand, it’s time to start looking at other options.

Not managing your PR, however, can keep your brand from being found online, so it’s critical that you choose someone else to manage it for you.

If you’re not looking to hire a full-time PR manager in your business, consider working with a PR consultant. Here’s how:

Change is constant, but PR best practices stay the same. Click here for the free PR Starter Kit!

Know What You Want

Before you begin the search, decide exactly what you want help with. If you’ve had a PR strategy in place in the past, you might just want that consultant to pick up where you left off.

Maybe you want help getting interviews as an industry expert, or getting the attention of particular journalists. Maybe you just need someone to write press releases for you.

Whatever those needs, outline them before you start talking to potential consulting firms.

Ask for Referrals

If you know other companies who seem to have great PR results, ask them who manages it for them. Your best bet is finding a consultant who already works in your industry, and who comes highly recommended.

If your network doesn’t net results, turn to social media and ask for suggestions. Usually it’s not necessary that the PR consultant live near you, since all the work can be done virtually. This greatly expands your search area.

Ask the Right Questions

Questions - Public Relations

Once you’ve found a few consultants you like, the grilling begins. Ask enough questions to get a sense of how this individual works and what results you should expect. Some questions to consider include:

  • How long have you been in PR?
  • Who are some clients you’ve worked with in my industry?
  • Can you show me examples of the results you’ve gotten?
  • What’s your process for pitching the media?
  • What would you suggest we do with our PR?
  • What and how do you charge?

Some PR consultants may charge an hourly rate for whatever time they put into your company. Others may charge a flat monthly fee, with certain tasks built in to what they do each month.

Go With Your Gut

Now that you’ve interviewed all of them, choose the PR consultant that seems best aligned with your public relations needs, and whom you like. It’s important that you like working together, since this will hopefully be a long and fruitful relationship!

Social Media Listening

Images: Flazingo Photos, Karen Eliot (Creative Commons)

About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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