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When Should You Outsource Your PR Efforts?

1) Do you NEED solid, consistant media exposure...week after week, or are you satisfied with "occasional" exposure? Now, this question alone is important... but not enough. The main component of this question is the IMPORTANCE of PR.

2) Do you have the internal staff and expertise to commit the internal resources to your PR efforts?

If you have the internal staff, and they understand Guerrilla PR principles, then there may be no reason to hire an outside agency.

Paradoxically, the busier you get, the easier it is to parlay, or "set aside" consistant, important PR activities. Don't get caught in that trap!

3) Finally, Public Relations is a craft that requires PASSION. You may need PR, and you may even have the people to conduct your PR campaigns, however, that's not enough.

In order to be truly effective, it's important that your PR campaigns are conducted with PASSIONATE CONSISTENCY.

Here's a quick "checklist" you can use to "size up" any PR firm you are considering to hire:

? Do you get along with the members of the firm? Hiring a PR agency is a collaboration that you can benefit from, month after month, year after year. Quality rapport is an essential ingredient.

? Are they realistic, in terms of managing your expectations, or do they promise you "pie in the sky"? It's one thing for a PR firm to promise you results. It's another thing for them to promise you "specific" results. Maybe you'd like to get on Oprah Winfrey from the would everyone else.

Be prepared to take advantage of several secondary media opportunities before you get to the top tier.

Several base hits can score you more runs than going for grand slams every time.

? Is the PR firm creative? Creative PR people will be more likely to come up with more "angles" to test.

? Do they understand how to pitch your story? A progressive PR firm will be effective AND efficient at telling your story...thus, yielding you more media coverage.

? Do they listen to what you say? Let's face it...your PR needs are constantly evolving. Your PR firm should listen...and respond to your unique, evolving needs.

? Are they using a "hard sell" to get you to sign? A good PR firm is a busy PR firm. They don't need to sell you. Their track record will allow you to decide based on the evidence.

? Do they have local AND regional AND national media contacts? When you go to a great PR firm, they have cultivated several strategic media relationships, over many years of time. Are you confident that they have the necessary Rolodex® to place your story in front of the appropriate media?

? Did they outline a campaign game plan for you? You can predict the effectiveness of a PR firm by the soundness of their overall strategic approach.

? Have you seen samples of their work? Track record comes in the form of QUALITY of exposure, in addition to the QUANTITY of exposure.

? Do you believe they undersand your needs and goals?

? Do you feel that they will carry out your PR campaign with consistant PASSION?

Finally, ? Do you should feel comfortable with the fee and the contract? Getting good PR is a process. It requires well thought out plans, implemented with passion, and a focus on results in the form of getting your story told to the world.

So, whether you conduct your PR efforts from within your company, or whether you hire an outside PR firm...

If media exposure is valuable to you, then you will commit to PR as an ongoing, systematic part of your overall marketing mix.

Joe Nicassio designs marketing campaigns, and coaches entrepreneurs to improve their bottom-line profits. His website is

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