If you are a business owner, author, musician, actress or artist, you probably know how crucial it is to seek publicity. Advertising either costs too much, doesn’t do enough or doesn’t work for what you need–and you don’t have the time to self-start a publicity campaign to get the PR you need to make your career a success. This is why you need a publicist to do it for you.
No one has to hire a publicist. If necessary, one can do most of their publicity on their own if they felt compelled to do so. However, what people do not realize is that a publicist does their job daily. They are well-versed in PR writing and pitching– and when it is do or die with a producer on the other end of the line–and YOU choke, you may be wishing you had hired someone who knows what they are doing.
There are many reasons why you should not pursue PR yourself… If you go about it correctly, you can find an honest publicist that can get the job done for you, better than you ever could. The main concern is your budget. Publicists are not cheap. They all know what they are worth so unless you have something amazing to offer, you should not expect a quality publicist to take you on a nickel and dime.
However, if you can afford to hire a publicist, make sure they have the qualities listed below:
oDeliver a sharp telephone pitch within 30 seconds time and get the exact point across.
oCreate a top-notch media kit (an EPK- electronic media kit if you are on a budget) that media will enjoy and actually take the time to read.
oKnow how to save money promoting you when possible.
oKnow what one needs for a PR campaign and understand the timeframe to do it.
oHave media contacts at newspapers, magazines and TV stations in the areas where you want your story to appear–or at least know how to get the contacts when needed.
oWrite enticing emails to grab one’s attention.
oKnow the best ways to contact media.
oCare about who you are and what you or your project is about…
oTake the time to make sure you are satisfied as a client.
Here are some red flags in potentially bad publicists:
oAct anxious, pushy and rude.
oSeem inexperienced because they say that they can do anything.
oWrite with many typos and misspellings.
oDo not offer to explain their time spent on a project.
oPretend to be buddies with everyone in the media.
oExpect a hefty retainer off the bat.
oConstantly act as if they can be the direct contact for casting, interviews or placements.
Bad publicists will waste your time and money and damage your reputation, reversing the entire purpose of you seeking publicity in the first place. A quality publicist is like paradise for most people. The hard work and persistence returns with free publicity for you or your project, service or cause. Many people make the mistake of hiring a publicist just because they promise instant fame. A good publicist knows not to make extreme promises of fame. They understand that it takes time and effort and the bottom line depends on someone else entirely. PR can be a hit and miss even with the best publicists, but if you take the time to work as a close-knit team, the outcome should always be very positive and fruitful in the end. It does not matter how many contacts they have, it does not matter if they have done it for years. They just need to have the “it” factor– smarts, spice and wit. You will know if it is there. If they are on target, you should see long term results.