The news media is influential. Everybody understands the value of press coverage. It’s a great way to drive demand because it’s a neutral, third-party endorsement. And if they’re reporting about it, it must be worth checking out.
But if you don’t know how to to write a press release, how to write a media pitch or how to start conversations with journalists, the prospect of doing your own PR can be pretty daunting.
At the same time mom and pop’s, small and medium-sized companies often struggle when it comes to retaining a public relations firm to get them press coverage for a number of reasons I’ll lay out in this post.
“We have 5000 customers, who are either marketers or content markets,” says Dmitry Dragilev, founder of JustReachOut.io, which provides clients with the resources and guidance to do their own media relations.
The idea is that rather than pay an agency to get to know you so they can pitch you to journalists, why not just pitch journalists yourself? The conceot is particularly enticing to companies looking at adding PR to the marketing mix for the first time, but now that the economy has hardened, that may change.
One of the sore spots for small clients, when they hire a PR firm, is the realization that it’s going to take that from one to two months to come up to speed on their business. That means that while they hired the public relations firm to get them press, the public relations firm is going to build them for 30 to 60 days to learn how to communicate their business to the press.
Even if you go to a public relations firm that specializes in your industry, they’re still going to need to figure out your go to Media strategy to differentiate you from your competitors and get you to stand out from the others. But Dmitry includes guidance and tactics for how to do that on your own.
In addition to providing contact information two journalists and the ability to email them directly over his service, he also provides training, resources and guidance help clients get press without relying on a public relations representative.
It’s no secret that client-agency relationships are fraught with conflict. Clients are specialists, while public relations practitioners are generalists, so relying on them to connect you with other experts is inefficient.
Clients have a single focus on their business, but public relations agencies represent a portfolio of clients so their focus is split.
Clients are focused on growing their business, but if you grow too fast too quickly you won’t need your agency anymore so they want to keep you from outgrowing them.
These conflicts are more pronounced with startups, change-ups (pivot mode) and scale-ups then they are with grown-ups so at the lower end of the market, where most of the clients are, these challenges have persisted as long as public relations has been around.
This interview walks you through the on-boarding program at JustReachOut.io, where clients learn to do their own PR without making rookie mistakes.
I hope you enjoy it!
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