With the economy being what it is, you may be tempted to economize by doing your own public relations rather than hiring a professional PR person or agency.
Especially now that it has become so easy for just about anyone to publish a website, it may seem that professionals are no longer needed when it comes to company communications and public relations. Ease of access has caused the illusion that handling PR is easy.
Doing it yourself is an approach to PR that may seem to save money — at first — but, is it really cheaper to do your own PR?
If nothing else, the Everything PR site should demonstrate the importance of good PR (and just how devastating bad PR can be).
The editorial team here does a great job of highlighting case after case of botched PR efforts. While you may not agree with every single example given, the overall message should be clear — if you’re serious about your business, then your PR efforts are not something you want to take chances with.
Here are seven questions to ask yourself before taking on your own PR:
- Do you have any professional writing and communications experience?
- Do you have any contacts in the media?
- Do you have any experience or knowledge of the new media (online marketing) techniques?
- Do you know how to handle negative publicity?
- Do you have enough time to devote to PR tasks?
- Do you know the best method for reaching your target audience?
- Do you know how to effectively and consistently develop an image or brand for your company?
Take a good honest look at these questions.
- If you answered “no” to even one of the above questions, then you probably don’t really have the time or expertise to be your own PR professional.
Of course, there will always be those companies (and individuals) with small budgets who truly cannot afford to hire a professional public relations expert.
In those cases I would say “proceed with caution” before you jump into the public relations fray. Learn all that you can from recognized PR professionals (and from reading this site). Whenever you can afford it, outsource specific PR tasks to PR professionals or hire a PR consultant to provide professional advice on how you should proceed.
What about you?
Do you handle your own PR, or do you use PR professionals?
Why, or why not?
Share your thoughts in the comments.