For a lot of companies, especially new ones, having a public relations firm on board to help them with their brand sounds like a dream come true. There are businesses that want to get out there in the forefront of things and honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. But, as an honest citizen of society, and an experienced PR professional, I’m here to let you in on a little secret. You really might not be ready for PR.
A lot of times, businesses have heard about PR services but might not be very familiar with what the industry is about or what value a public relations firm should bring to the table. Many companies don’t take the time to do their homework to really understand what function and role PR plays. When this happens, a lot of unrealistic expectations can ensue. Unrealistic expectations often lead to unhappy relationships (remember why you broke up with your ex in college?).
The other thing? Well, some companies aren’t ready on the inside. Meaning, they don’t have all their ducks in a row. If you’re still trying to figure out things such as internal structure, basic systems and processes and business models, PR probably isn’t something that should be focused on immediately. Think about it like a big dysfunctional family. If you know that uncle Joe flies off at the handle at any given moment, cousin Patti can’t handle her drinks and your mom and her sister can’t go 10 mins without arguing, you might think twice before inviting strangers you just met over for family dinner, right? Right. Same thing goes for your company if you don’t have it all together inside. It makes the job of even the greatest PR person a bit on the difficult side. And just like that family dinner, that’s a party we aren’t looking forward to attending. Focus on getting your stuff together and then pursue public relations help.
Still not sure if you fall into the category of not being ready? Check out these brief checkpoints:
•You’re not all the way together internally
•You don’t know what public relations is supposed to do for you
•You want whoever does your PR to also set your appointments and get you coffee
•You think all you need a PR person for is to write press releases
•You thought PR stood for Puerto Rico
If you can relate to any of these, you might not be ready for PR yet. And, well, that’s okay.