Timing is everything in public relations and many startups stumble when deciding when to initiate their PR campaign in order to effectively secure publicity and media exposure for their new products or services. RPR Public Relations, Inc. offers five tips to help small businesses and entrepreneurs planning their first PR campaign.
Startups and entrepreneurs often spend the majority of their budgets on product development, leaving little in reserve for PR and Marketing. Once the product, service or website is ready to launch, the startup team then finds themselves brainstorming on how to get the word out about their new brand. RPR Public Relations offers the following tips for startups and entrepreneurs planning their first PR campaign.
Set aside your PR budget in the beginning. PR and marketing should never be an after-thought. Always think about how you will eventually reach your target market at each stage of planning your new product introduction.
PR is more cost effective than advertising. Many startups balk at the hourly rate PR firms charge, but when compared to expensive advertising rates – PR is a fraction of the cost and delivers exponential results while boosting a startup’s credibility. People know an advertisement was purchased and PR placements in editorial carry more weight overall with potential customers.
Timing is everything and PR is not magic. Plan in advance, whether it’s a PR campaign for a crowdfunding project, new product introduction or brand expansion. To get the best possible outcome there needs to be planning well in advance – months before the website or product/service is available. A startup cannot have an active crowdfunding campaign and contact a PR firm asking for media coverage, after the fact, with only two weeks left to go on the crowdfunding project. Similarly, a startup launching a new product or service cannot expect print media coverage in newsstand magazines the same month they hire a PR firm due to lead times.
PR professionals work within the parameters of media lead times. Lead time are the schedules media professionals work within to plan the content for their upcoming news stories, articles, or radio and TV shows. Consumer print magazines can have a long lead time of up to six or seven months, print newspapers often have lead times around one to two months, and online media – including bloggers, news sites and online magazines – average three to six weeks lead time. Broadcast media lead times vary.
Think about the most effective length of time for an initial PR campaign. Most new product or service PR campaigns are best suited for a three-to-six month time frame. This allows the PR firm to perform their due diligence and examine the product or service being launched, the competition, target market(s), target media categories and essentially develop and execute a PR plan – complete with tactics, timelines, results and measurements. A PR campaign less than three months does not allow the brand to fully launch and reach its exposure potential. Often new product campaigns are extended for several months – beyond the six month period – based on consumer reaction and media interest. The best PR is a continual process and not a one-hit-wonder.
About RPR Public Relations, Inc.
Founded in 2003, RPR Public Relations, Inc. is a boutique PR firm focused on serving entrepreneurs, start-ups and small-to-medium sized businesses in a variety of vertical markets – including B2B, technology, consumer product goods, retail, eCommerce and life sciences. The PR firm has often been called the “Champion of Small Business” by its clients. Offices are located in Portland, Maine with additional locations in Boston, MA and Boca Raton, FL. Since 2005, RPR Public Relations has been the #1 PR firm on Guru.com out of more than 6,000+ PR agencies located worldwide.