By Mark Macias
I conversed recently with a health tech startup out of Eastern Europe, looking for PR. Following our conversation, the company asked a straight-forward question via email: What kind of media deliverables can we expect?
Many PR firms promise the world during the sell, but fail to deliver once the contract is signed. I know this because I continually hear from potential clients on how they got burned by their last PR firm.
So how can you protect your business and brand to ensure you get the most exposure and best coverage?
What Media Deliverables can we Expect?
Here’s the honest truth. No PR firm can accurately predict how many media placements the firm will secure over a certain amount of time. However, there are guidelines and reasonable expectations based on critical thinking, editorial news value and the time frame.
You may want to hear the PR firm promise a specific number of media placements, but you’re really just deceiving yourself. Here’s how you better assess the strategic value at the start.
What is the Media Strategy on Day One?
The best PR firms know the media strategy out of the gate, helping them assess the potential number of media placements over time.
MACIAS PR explores every initial strategy by assessing the news market in that industry. How interesting is this sector? What are the deliverables we can give to reporters, consumers or enterprise? What editorial angles can we pitch? How old is this company’s narrative? Is there data or technology we can leverage? I could go on-and-on, but here’s what it boils down to: You can’t predict the news potential without understanding the news angles from the start.
Going back to that initial Eastern European startup example, it has a lot of potential for publicity in the B2C space. However, the company wants a B2B campaign. That shift from B2C to B2B changes the strategy, approach and narrative. Without exploring those elements, any prediction is really a guess. That’s a red flag for your PR campaign. If you want to hire a PR firm based on a future number of media placements, make sure the PR firm understands your narrative, news market and story lines.
Ensure your PR Firm Converses with Decision Makers
There’s a reason why I typically work directly with entrepreneurs, the C-suite and founders of companies. They understand their PR goals and the detailed components of their business or technology. These higher level leaders know how to sell their company to strangers and communicate their differentiators. That helps the best PR firms understand the strategy and approach to take at the launch.
In the case with this Eastern European startup, I asked specific questions regarding their enterprise campaign. Unfortunately, I was conversing with a person who couldn’t provide many details on their data, technology or enterprise background. She read me their mission statement and sales sheet, but it wasn’t deep enough to form a strategy. That’s another red flag for any PR campaign. Make sure your PR firm is equipped with the information and contact person to succeed.
Sure, founders and CEOs are busy, but if you’re working with a qualified and strategic PR firm that has experience with entrepreneurs, their publicists should be efficient with your time. If PR is important to your brand and business, make sure you give your PR team everything they need to succeed.
Finance Monthly and ACQ5 5 – an international industry award – named Macias PR the 2017 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year – USA. This was the third year in a row that Finance Monthly recognized our firm. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.