Archive for PR
1. What do you know about my company, market, industry?
This tells you if they’ve done their homework. If they haven’t – run!
2. What campaigns have you done in a similar industry, similar company, etc?
You should ask for several examples. Listen for specifics, numbers, audience types, products. People who talk in general terms are usually not the folks you’ll want to work with. Having said that, just because someone hasn’t worked in your industry, that doesn’t mean they can’t bring something great to the table – for example there are some weird similarities between tourism and pharmaceuticals that I’m sure could be stretched to other industries too.
3. How long have you been doing this? And what did you do before that?
This will give you an idea of what they’re going to bring to your work. There’s no point in hiring a financial planner to build your website unless you’re building a financial planning website (and then you’ll want to meet the tech developer as well).
4. Have you managed consulting clients before?
Even if someone’s managed big campaigns working for a multinational – they’ve probably had agencies, juniors, admin folks sharing the load and a budget that didn’t matter if it went over a couple of hundred /thousand dollars. What you want is someone who can actually deliver on and produce the job they’ve waxed lyrical about (and manage your expectations and budget along the way).
5. Why do you keep doing this?
You’re looking to get an idea of their ongoing level of passion for what they’re doing.
6. What’s the best result you’ve had for a client so far?
Again look for specific results (see point 3).
7. Do you have references I can actually talk to? When did you work with them?
Make sure that the people you’re talking to worked with them in a similar situation to yours. There’s no point speaking to the CEO of BHP about a marketing job Joe Bloggs did for them – 5 years ago – marketing moves at a much too quick a pace for that sort of reference. If you’re interested in mine, you could start with some testimonials or check out the most recent ones on LinkedIn.
Kristin is a marketing & communication strategist who’s been doing the marketing do for almost 20 years. She can be found hanging out in social media land – for her clients’ benefit of course. You can follow her @glitteratichic or click on the LinkedIn icon on the right handside to connect there.
Okay so this post isn’t really about brain surgery or rocket science – would you really want to be your own brain surgeon? Or accidently propel yourself into space never to return (with only so much oxygen at your disposal). Nope didn’t think so.
So now that we’ve established that’s not for you – what about DIY accounting and tax returns? Yes, there will be some of you out there. But did you know that you’re statistically more likely to get less in your return if you DIY (that and probably want to stick pins in your eyes long before you finish).
Heck, I wouldn’t even cut my own hair. Ok, well maybe just the fringe bit (but it’s never as good as when a great hairdresser has a go).
And it’s the exactly the same with creating your own website, doing your own marketing or creating your own materials or designs. Why – you ask? When you have a pen, a computer and a host of other technology you’re itching to use? Why shouldn’t you do your own thing?
Well in essence unless you’ve been a marketer for a while, you’re likely to spend (possibly even waste) a great deal of time pfaffing, yes pfaffing about getting frustrated that what you’re doing is not going according to plan. Even if it does go according to plan, maybe and I hate to be the one that says this, but maybe the plan is headed in the wrong direction or missing a couple of vital ingredients – one in particular.
So what might this vital ingredient be?
It’s experience. I did say this wasn’t rocket science.
Experience makes a massive difference to your marketing projects. People who’ve eaten, slept and breathed marketing for a decade or more can offer you so much more than just technology or passing you onto to someone who claims to be able to use the technology. They’ll guide the process, create stuff of value and find that great space between what you want to achieve and what your clients want you to give them.
So, sure technology is sexy, but it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) claim to understand what people (your customers) want, nor how best to give it to them.
You wouldn’t trust your brain to your next door neighbour (unless they’re a qualified neurology surgeon), so why would you risk your business – possibly the lifeblood of your family to have a go yourself.
If you’re now thinking about outsourcing, you might also want to read 7 ways to tell if your marketer is any good (or not).
As always would love to chat further – either in comments below or in person. The number’s at the top of the screen.
The first time I was ever asked “what’s the difference between marketing & PR?”, I didn’t quite know how to answer it. Certainly there were the definitions put forward at uni and from the various industry bodies – but then (and I’d profer, even now) there was some academic argy bargy going on.
So I set about coming up with my own working explanation – that was short, to the point and that those not in the industry had a hope in hades of understanding (not something academics are well known for).
Marketing leads to a transaction (or a sale from a member of the organisation/product/service’s target market)
Public Relations leads to an interaction (designed to build trust or open/continue a conversation with a member of the organisation/product/service’s target audience)
If you combine the two, you get MPR – an interaction that ultimately leads to a transaction.
However the true value of PR is not all about building sales, nor is it about getting media coverage/publicity. Sometimes it’s just as important to stay less attainable and/or out of the media (and yes, there is such a thing as bad publicity).
Great PR and marketing people are not necessarily interchangeable. Marketing is often about data/research, PR less so.
The best marketers aren’t just about stuff, they’re about strategy – watching and listening to the marketplace in order to determine whether or not product/service A is going to work, if it needs tweaks, how to best position it and then they work to get it out there.
Great PRs are about building relationships with stakeholders – a much broader subset of people who may or may not ultimately buy from you – but who could be extremely influential to those who can. Stakeholders might be purchasing gatekeepers (mums, Drs, hospitals or governments) or they might be activists who dislike how your organisation does something and are determined to have it stopped at a local, industry or even government level or just about anyone else in the mix.
Too often people (and that includes some industry folks) think both are just about marketing materials, advertising or publicity (which is mainly one way communication). That seriously minimises the impact marketers and PRs can make to your business, organisation, product or service.
Ultimately, great marketers launch great products/services, in the right place, at the right price, to the right people using the right mediums and great PRs nuture, defend and protect them.
Hope that helps. Let me know your thoughts.