In the past few weeks, I’ve gotten a ton of requests for public relations services.
As I handed over my proposal with my packaged fee schedule (meaning I package my PR wares so you don’t pay an hourly fee or retainer), many people ran away with sticker shock. (And I must admit, my prices are much more affordable than the traditional PR firm so I can only imagine what shock they would be in if the chose that route!)
I’ve also ran into several wanna-be publicists, especially on Twitter, who kept asking me how to get a media list together. When I sent them info on the several decent media databases out there, they also ran away with sticker shock. (Most cost several thousand dollars a year!)
It sounds like different stories based on sticker shock, but this really is a variation on the same theme.
You see, besides paying for the creativity that go into a public relations, you are also paying for the media contacts he or she has.
You may think that anyone can just pull a media list together and send your press release out. Well, to be honest, anyone can do that. And that’s part of the problem.
Several unscrupulous PR pros and even some virtual assistants who claim to be media savvy, do this. It’s easy and quick. And often times, it’s spamming.
Blanketing the media with a release that doesn’t fit the media outlet and/or the journalist you are hitting with it is nothing more than spam.
A good PR person takes the time to do two things:
- Builds a targeted media list, then finds out exactly how each reporter on that list wants the press release. (Here’s a hint: although a majority prefer sending it via email, many still don’t want email press releases.)
- They build relationships with journalists. It’s not uncommon for me to spend an entire day on the phone, contacting reporters that I know (including producers from The Oprah Winfrey Show) to check in and see what they are working on.
When a public relations professional does these two things, the results for the client are much higher than blindly sending out a release and praying that it will get picked up somewhere.
It’s all about the contacts and the connections in the PR biz. That’s what you are paying for.