Five things PR professionals secretly want potential clients to know

PR Public Relations – Hand drawn vector illustration

Public relations experts have a reputation for being a friendly, unflappable bunch but like anyone, they too experience moments of frustration. Being experts at navigating social relations doesn’t make PR professionals immune to the everyday frustrations that inevitably crop up in their work.

Though your gracious PR rep may be well-equipped to handle anything that comes their way, there are things that drive even the most seasoned PR pro batty. Here are five common things PR reps wish potential clients knew:

1. PR is a non-negotiable part of business

“PR is one part of a holistic and integrated marketing and communications plan. Often small businesses see the outcomes of PR and instantaneously want to emulate the same for their business,” KK Projects Director Keri Kitay says.

“It’s important as a small business to realise that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Before engaging in a PR campaign, it is essential that you have everything in place, such as your sales channels to capture leads generated by PR, an e-commerce system that can support enquires and sales, customer service, all your purchasing, refund and shipping policies in place and enough product in stock to support sales. In addition, it is important for a small business to recognise that PR will generate awareness and provide leads to your website but it is equally if not more essential that your website is optimised to convert the sale.”

2. Have realistic expectations

“It’s important to understand that PR isn’t instantaneous and it can take a few months to see results. Your agency needs some time to build relationships with key media on behalf of your business, and some publications are working to an editorial calendar, so you may not be relevant to what they’re working on at the moment,” MHPR Director Meg Harris says. “This is why we always recommend new clients give us a minimum of three months to build the momentum and start to see coverage coming through.”

3. Have a plan

“To execute a PR campaign effectively, small businesses need to allow adequate time for agencies to audit the business, the market and the PR opportunities before putting together a strategy,” Keri Kitay says. “A well thought out PR plan requires detail and research. Similarly, the time to execute a PR plan and generate media coverage and results does not happen overnight. There is a lot of detail in a plan and considerate execution, which your PR agency or publicist has spent many years crafting, building relationships with media and developing their IP to produce results.”

4. Pay attention to presentation

“High-quality assets can be the difference between being featured or not,” Meg Harris says. “If you can afford to, arrange to shoot a variety of high res imagery such as simple product shots on a white background and lifestyle images so you have a greater chance of being able to provide for different publications’ needs.

“More journalists are mindful of the environment these days so extravagant product send-outs with excess packaging are no longer necessary to secure coverage,” Meg adds. “It’s more important to really research who your business is relevant to and send them a personalised pitch with your product and the key information.”

5. Listen to us

Director of Millennium Communications, Cassandra Hili says you should expect transparency and honesty, saying, “Just like in any good relationship, this goes both ways. By having these two values at heart, it will make your experience with your PR so much more enjoyable and won’t allow for any miscommunication or unmet expectations.”

“When it comes down to PR, it really is a team effort,” Cassandra adds. “So, make sure you’re open to the ideas and angles that are presented to you.”