FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Hiring a public-relations firm for your business can be a difficult decision. There's no guarantee that a PR and/or marketing campaign will produce the desired results, and the costs can be quite high. Yet, a successful campaign can help you expand your business in ways you never could on your own. So how do you find a public relations agency that is likely to benefit your business? Below are some frequently asked questions when deciding if you/your business needs to hire a public relations and marketing firm:
Q: What’s the difference between marketing, advertising and public relations?
A: Marketing is the umbrella, while advertising and public relations are subsets of marketing. Advertising is aimed at actively making a product or service known to a target audience. Public relations is the maintenance of a favorable public image.
Q: Why do I need a marketing strategy?
A: To create a sustainable (and effective) competitive advantage, your marketing strategy is your secret weapon. Your marketing strategy is your plan to achieving your goals, setting clear guidelines, dividing roles amongst team members, getting to know your customer, and making sure you have sufficient funds to achieve your goals.
Q: Why does my business need PR?
A: The executions of talented PR teams rely on this understanding – the art of storytelling. It has to be dynamic, inspiring, and constant. Our role at Fifteen East Media Group is to tell compelling stories about our client, which goes far beyond addressing new product launches and recalls. Our goal is to connect with the current client and bridge the gap with future clients.
Q: Does PR drive Marketing, or does Marketing drive PR?
A: We believe that both drive one another in specific situations. PR often identifies stories and content that will be relevant for long-lead pitching (4-6 months out), and is then able to drive marketing efforts to support through promotional elements, social media sharing, email marketing, and more. Marketing drives PR strategy when there are set promotions and content for the year that PR is able to support through media awareness, influencer partnerships and pushing information out to the masses.
Q: How are you going to measure your success?
A: Before hiring a PR firm, you need to know how the firm will measure success."Likes" on your Facebook and Instagram page and print media placements are common metrics for success in the PR business. We advise you to hire a firm who looks beyond those measures to factors that will help your business grow, such as tracking how much your prospective client email list and traffic to your website have grown because of a PR campaign.
Q: What's the difference between PR and publicity?
A: PR is short for public relations, which means creating a strong brand and great reputation to allow you to build relationships with the public. Those relationships include consumers, potential customers and clients. Great PR creates mutually beneficial relationships and incites change and can also help change behaviors and opinions in the favor of the product/service you sell.
Publicity is about obtaining earned media and coverage for your company. It helps build awareness and gains credibility in your industry. As a note: publicity and PR does NOT increase sales for a product and/or service. Essentially, you would need a robust marketing strategy to execute sales.
Q: Does your agency guarantee results?
A: No. There are many business, economic and third-party factors outside of any public relations professional's or firm's control, including product, service, price, demand, market, quality, competition, consumer behavior and preferences, media bias and major events. Therefore Fifteen East Media Group offers no guarantees, warranties or refunds on its services. Any individual or organization offering you a guarantee may be in violation of the Public Relations Society of America's code of ethics, which highly discourages such behavior.
Q: Will I be buying articles, advertising or space?
A: No. We will be working to acquire earned media placement of stories about your company. With earned media, unlike advertising, companies do not pay for placement of news stories. One of the key advantages of public relations over other marketing channels is that earned media helps establish credibility for a company and its products or services. PR is not instant or overnight, but it is a very powerful way to build your company's brand and reputation.
Q: Do you assure your clients category exclusivity?
A: For ongoing long-term clients making the appropriate commitment, we will agree not to work with the direct competitors that are specified in our contract, to assure you confidentiality and category exclusivity. We assure strict confidentiality to all clients, as per the PRSA Code of Ethics to safeguard private or proprietary information. And to provide the peace of mind that project clients seek, we establish different account teams and firewalls to assure that the strictest separation and confidentiality are upheld.
Q: How much does PR typically cost?
A: Depending on the city or region, prices will vary. What is typically universal, though, is that you’ll get what you pay for — especially with an agency. Typical monthly retainers with a PR agency will range between $2,000 –$5,000 per month on the low end and for top-notch firms can go all the way up to $20,000 –$50,000 per month depending on the scope of work and value provided.
While most engagements fall under the retainer-based pricing model, there may be times where additional projects are added which would fall into an ad hoc project-based fee. Things like this could be event planning for a launch party or activation event. You may also have unforeseen challenges and it’s great to have a PR specialist on hand to handle crisis management.
You’ve seen the numbers, and you’re either suffering from sticker shock at this point, or you’re ready to take a big step forward into the world of PR. With that, you’re probably wondering what you’re paying all that money for. Traditionally you’d hire a PR firm for their extensive local and national contacts. While this is still extremely important, you are also hiring them based on the modern value they provide. The ability to research, strategize, write effectively, common sense and creativity.