In the Belly of the Whale

Here are five reasons why you need to hire a P.R. professional.

1. What is the best media for you?

A P.R person will give you a frank assessment of the best media for you. You do not have the professional detachment to assess whether you are fit for certain types of media. If you write well, you can author articles or become a featured blogger. If you are mediagenic and exude charisma in front of the camera, then it is possible for you to be an excellent source or expert for TV news.  Do you have a wonderful and engaging voice? Then radio and podcasting can be a good outlet.  P.R. professionals have worked with all forms of media: Print, Broadcast (traditional TV and Radio), Internet, Blogging, Video… and know the best mashup for you. You need to assess two major factors: Which media will reach your community; and which forms of media work best for you--your look, your voice, your persona, your industry, your expertise, your availability, and your quotability. 

2. What is the best media to reach your audience?

A P.R. professional will assess your target audiences to determine the the best media for you to engage with. It might be Twitter or an obscure industry trade publication. Why choose radio when no one’s listening? Being on a radio show that only has a few listeners is not worth your time. Are your potential clients listening to a radio show or watching TV? Even worse, there are legions of people producing their own radio shows, and not one has expertise in media. They quickly find out that it’s a lot more work than they’ve anticipated and just how hard it is to grow an audience.

The graveyard for dead radio shows is almost as large as the growing glut of abandoned blogs and bad videos. Social media might be complete waste of time, or it might not be. It just depends….Ask your P.R. Advisor.

3. Fine Craft of Storytelling

Professional P.R People know how to craft a message and tell a good story.  They know how to rise above the sea of dreck coming from people who think they are writers. What is the foundation of your story?  What is your message?  What are you saying to your community? P.R professionals will create messaging that will work for every member of your community-of-interest. We’ve recently witnessed one of the largest political upheavals in history. Presidential elections are won and lost because the winning candidate has an effective message and the loser does not. What story will you tell? When you hire a P.R professional, you are hiring this person for more than the ability to write well. You’re hiring your own personal storyteller who knows how to layer stories, one on top of the other.  Bottom line: you are paying this person to be a creative talent who can come up with something new and exciting. And even if it’s not new or exciting, a talented P.R Professional will make it seem that way.

4. Knowing what Journalists want

P.R. Professionals research the background of Editors and Producers. You don’t have the media contacts that a P.R. professional has developed. You don’t have access the databases used by PR professionals. You could do your own Internet research to hone-in on journalists who are writing stories about your industry. You might be able to see how long the journalist has covered a beat and get a handle on his writing style, pet peeves and specific areas of coverage. But let’s say you’re an attorney or a medical doctor, do you really have the time to grope around the internet? A P.R Professional knows how to put together a well thought-out story that includes research, data, case studies, trend reports, and more in order to persuade a journalist to cover a story about you and your business. Effective P.R. communication requires training, practice and infinite patience to get a news story placed.

5. Knowing the competitive landscape

In today’s business world, every professional must wage an effective P.R. outreach. It’s no longer an option, but a matter of survival. P.R. creates 75% of the value of a how a person is perceived.  For companies, it is the success of their P.R. initiative that is responsible for client loyalty, employee engagement, social responsibility, innovation and their overarching management style.  With all due respect, people are not good at representing themselves, whether it’s in a court of law or yanking out a bad tooth. It is an understatement to say that you should have a trusted P.R. advisor who can help you bring your networking to a higher level.  By helping you to develop strategic partners, your P.R advisor will guide you to give and receive extra value from your partnerships. By working together with partners, each party gains credibility and increases awareness that impacts the entire community-of-interest. I’ve always said: Good P.R. is having the greatest number of high quality relationships that reach across industries and sectors to get you a return on investment.










Patricia Vaccarino

Patricia Vaccarino is an accomplished writer who has written award-winning film scripts, press materials, articles, essays, speeches, web content, marketing collateral, and eight books.

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