The business of promotions and public relations

It seems that there are a million companies that claim to handle promotions and public relations.  Many of the ones that I have come across lately have caused me to raise an eyebrow rather than jump on the band wagon to support their efforts. 

As a Business Consultant, I often encourage my clients to follow their passion and start their business with a solid plan.  I wonder about some of these companies because they seem to know what they want to do but I question their methods of going about it. 

Here are the five questions that come to my mind when someone tells me they are in promotions or public relations:

  1. Where can I see your portfolio?  Like businesses attract like businesses.  I like to know who you have worked with in the past and what you have done for your clients before deciding to collaborate on a project.
  2. Who is your audience and what are you saying?  I am often astounded by some people who claim to be marketing professionals when I read their Facebook statuses or tweets.  Sometimes, I click on their profile to be sure that I didn’t mistake their profession for something else.  You have to mindful when you are offering to represent someone else’s brand of how you represent yourself.  If the issues on your mind are that serious, you should create a private page or seek counseling. (P.S. As a professional, anything that you post relating to your sex life is instant grounds for me not wanting to work with you.)
  3. Who is listening to you?  I check not only the quantity of your network but the quality.  As a marketing professional, you should have a targeted audience for your clients such as professionals between the ages of 25 and 40.  If I scan your network and it’s filled with students between the ages of 18 and 22 then you may not be the company to represent my brand.  You can control the people that join your network or follow you by the type of information and events that you post.  You will definitely have some outliers but the majority of your network should represent your target market.
  4. Can I Google you?  If I Google you and nothing comes up, how well are you managing your brand?  You need to have a strong online presence so that when people find you, they find your clients.
  5. Who is on your team?  There is nothing wrong with being a one man show but you need to have access to individuals that can help you promote my brand.  Your biggest asset is your media contact list and/or your distribution list.  What would be the point of me hiring you to promote my event or brand if you have less contacts than I do (unless you have a better quality of connections)?

I am not a promoter nor a publicist but I am in the process of building a brand.  When thinking of hiring someone to help me with this process, these are the questions that have come to my mind.  I think I have found the perfect partner and look forward to making an announcement before August 🙂

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5 thoughts on “The business of promotions and public relations

  1. I’m about to start my final year at school with an emphasis in PR. I agree with everything you’ve said. But, do PR companies really not think about these questions beofre hand? All I’ve been learning about in school is how to build up a rep and how best to answer these questions that you’ve posed. If the companies you deal with don’t already answer these questions while trying to get business then they are definitely doing things the wrong way. Just wait a couple of years until I get into the job force and then you can deal with somebody who actually knows about PR! 🙂 haha

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