Things to consider before engaging a PR company – by PR maven Jessica Huie, Founder of JH Public Relations

High-res-jess-press-shot-bwim-1Business up and running/growing and ready to engage a PR company? Here are a few things to consider.

By PR maven Jessica Huie, Founder of JH Public Relations

Nobody knows your story like you do. If you can deliver your elevator pitch in thirty seconds and succinctly explain your business, accentuating its service, unique selling points and market, then what you have is a verbal press release.

Whilst a PR expert may well be better equipped to create a press release which entices your journalist hit list into hitting reply, its imperative that you equip your chosen PR consultant with all of the info about not just your business, but you personally, in order for them to extract the gem of a story which is ingrained in all of us.

Your background, the inspiration behind your business, your driving forces, challenges and vision, are just some of the ingredients which an engaging feature must possess.

People buy people, allow your audience to resonate with you, and watch your brand/service stick in their mind.

So ensure you know what your story is before expecting a PR consultant to, and always engage a PR consultant who’s happy to sit and learn about your journey and aspirations –

Speak from the heart and leave the business plan at home.

Be realistic. PR often gets bad press, partly because everyone and their granny now claims to be an expert in the field, and secondly because there are no guarantees. Be wary of PR proposals which promise the world or are overly flashy in their presentation. Glossy power point proposals do not necessarily make a successful PR campaign. Once a consultant understands the bones of your story and the brief, they can create reasonable projections for results, though bare in mind that a news breaking story will knock your story off air and these eventualities are every bit as frustrating for your hardworking PR as they are for you the client.

Be patient. PR must be viewed as an investment and serves to raise the profile of your brand, ultimately impacting on sales. The word ultimately is key here. If your PR guru lands you an expert slot on Oprah or gets Kate Middleton wearing your new maternity line then your return on your PR investment will likely happen overnight ten fold, but ensure you can cater to the demand that PR magic at its best, can and does create. Outside of magic moments, you should expect a slow steady build of your business profile.

Insist on integrity. Throughout my career I have eased clients burnt by previous bad PR experiences with my ethos that if we do not deliver any press coverage, we do not invoice. Slightly bonkers business practice considering the relentless work that can go into pitching and encouraging journalists, but symptomatic of our ethos which clients respect and appreciate.

Finally, claim your expertise. Don’t be afraid to let your consultant position you as an expert in your field. Journalists are always desperate for the right expert quote on their topical feature. If you don’t claim your space, your competition will.

As women we can often be hesitant to step forward in ownership of our experience or knowledge. Get over it and own your mastery.

 Author Bio

Jessica Huie has 17 years experience in Public Relations having begun her career as a junior for Connie Filippello (Publicist to Mariah Carey, George Michael) before seven years working for Max Clifford Associates (Simon Cowell, Peter Jones, Club 328 Private Jets)  Today JH PR represent lifestyle experts, celebrities  and entrepreneurs who have ranged from Hilary Devey, Samuel Jackson, Deirdre Bounds, Kelly Rowland, Virgin Unite, The Ministry of Justice, Nikki Beach and many others.

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