By Jennifer Borba von Stauffenberg
As a marketing and public relations agency, growth is a daily conversation. Businesses connect with us to grow. Sometimes they want to grow stronger relationships with the public by finally sharing all the beautiful things they are already doing. Sometimes they want us to work with them to grow their corporate social responsibility programs. And, most of the time, they want to grow that bottom line by attracting more clients or customers. While this just covers a fraction of reasons, it’s always about growth. Why else would you make the investment if it wasn’t going to make a difference?
At Olive, we take great pride in the result of the result. After all, I don’t want to be doing this work if it’s not making a difference in the world. In honor of our 10-Year Anniversary, here are 10 things to consider when you are making the investment to grow your business:
- Is your product or service ready? In other words, have you worked out the kinks? Bringing new customers to a website that isn’t working or selling products with flaws will just give you a headache. Take the time to get your stuff right. That’s why we say “Illuminate Greatness.” You have to be great before we will send people your way.
- Are you ready to be interviewed? I know this sounds crazy, but I can’t tell you how many times we have started a public relations campaign and the key spokesperson suddenly doesn’t want to do interviews. Media relations is not for you if you don’t want to talk to the media.
- Do you have a spokesperson? We can always step in for this, but the media would rather talk to someone who is part of your internal team. Also, it can be helpful to have a secondary spokesperson that is comfortable in front of the camera that can step into your place if you have any vacations planned or when life happens.
- Can your website handle an influx of new traffic? Some media hits will drive thousands of people to your website. Have you worked with your IT team to be prepared for those amazing moments?
- Have you thought about your story? How do you want people to talk about your brand? While we can help you do this… it’s always a great idea to get clear on how you want people to know your brand.
- Are you prepared to scale? Investing in marketing and public relations without an ability to scale is like playing poker with no plans to win. You need to think about how you will handle the growth.
- If you are a consumer product, do you have samples available? So often, brands want us to pitch national media in advance of their release, but often they haven’t worked samples into their timeline and budget. The odds of getting traction without samples is very slim. Editors want to see, touch and taste things.
- Are you ready for feedback? Fortunately/unfortunately, social media gives people the opportunity to hide behind their computer screen and share their thoughts. Sometimes that means sharing negative judgement or feelings. Sometimes it’s totally bogus and sometimes it has merit. In advance, you and your team should work to identify answers for the challenges that could arise.
- Do you have time? While we have mastered minimizing all the back and forth with our weekly client calls, campaigns still take time. In order for a campaign to move swiftly, someone needs to be accountable for approvals, interviews and meetings.
- Do you have realistic expectations? If this is your final Hail Mary, it’s probably not a good idea to move forward. I know that might seem counter to what you would expect, but you need to plan on investing at least six to eight months in a public relations campaign to see a return. If you are thinking of launching a campaign to save a drowning business, media relations is probably not the answer. My recommendation is to hire a firm when you are on the upswing to amplify your efforts.
If you are ready to grow, we would love to treat you to a free consultation. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.