It isn’t always easy to approach the media to make sure your company or brand is covered. It is also not easy to create a public brand image that goes well with your philosophy or your brand. Thus, most companies tend to hire a publicist or a PR firm who will help them to get covered in mainstream media and also ensure that the public face of the company is presented in a way that is more attractive to the target audience.
However, many small companies are unable to pay the bills when it comes to hiring a publicist. PR firms and publicists are expensive and many SMBs might not be able to afford them until they become more successful. If you are torn between the decisions to hire publicists or not, on account of expenses, here are some of the alternatives that you can choose, until you have enough funds.
Become your own publicist
It is one of the most effective methods that we have observed so far. If you do not have the money to hire a PR firm or a publicist, you can try and act as your own publicist. You will need to know how to contact the media and how to present your stories. It is not easy but it is not difficult either. The advantage is, you will end up learning a lot about public relations, on the way, and you will also make some very important contacts. The disadvantage is that you will probably need to spend considerable time in learning the basics of PR. Also, you need to be good at writing, as much of the media pitches are written and e-mailed away.
Hire a PR coach
If you are unable to do it yourself, you could choose to hire a PR coach or take lessons about building a public image. There are specific workshops and lessons that help entrepreneurs to learn public relation skills. These workshops do cost money but they will help you to learn how to write press releases, organize a press conference and even how you could contact mainstream media. If you are willing to spend time and money to learn some of the most valuable skills in the world of entrepreneurship, you need to invest in public relations classes.
Hire an intern
Hiring interns is a trend that is going to last for a long time. With more number of students opting for higher education and with fewer jobs in the market, there are always youngsters who would be willing to work as interns. Choose talented interns who bring their education and enthusiasm to your workplace & get them to write press releases, contact mainstream media and hold press conferences. You could pay them less than what a full-time publicist would demand. There are many companies that offer internships without any payments, with only certifications towards the end. While that is not a nice thing to do, you could see how to compensate your intern in a manner that will not hurt your pockets.
Train your own employees
If you already have smart employees who are good at writing and talking, train them to act as your publicists. Cut their other responsibilities for a while and allow them to work as your publicists until you can hire a full-time publicist. Some employees might be more than eager to work as public relations executives, especially, because of the glamour that it is associated with. Employees also understand your company and brand better & it is easier for them to craft a public image that goes well with your philosophy; and you do not have to increase the pay, even if you reduce their other responsibilities.
Even the smallest of companies cannot ignore the benefits of knowing how to present oneself to the mainstream media. Sooner or later, every business needs to try and attempt to get mainstream media coverage, in order to build authority and reputation. If you thought you are a very small company and hiring a publicist or acting as your own is unnecessary, think again. There is nothing better for your marketing than being covered by the mainstream media, for free.