How do I know if a boutique firm like RGA is right for me?
You’re big enough to have a marketing department (in addition to sales), but you probably don’t have a corporate communications or investor relations department. You’re primarily interested in telling your story, not fighting off a crisis or convincing the government to change the law for you. You’re willing to put a top executive in frequent contact with our team, preferably your CEO, so we can get the information flowing, right from the top. RGA is primarily a content generation shop. When we encounter firms that require a higher level of service, we point them in the direction of larger firms that we have worked with in the past.
How do I know if I’m ready for a PR firm?
If you have at least one customer who will announce emphatically to the world that you are a worthwhile and trusted company to do business with, you’re ready for a PR firm. You may not be ready to retain one, but you can start doing some project work that will speed up your sales process. If you are launching a new firm and want to build buzz in advance of your first real customer success, stick with advertising.
How do I know if my PR efforts are working?
When your sales increase. Some agencies will give you all kinds of reasons why you should pay them for things other than closed sales. Do you get paid on anything other than closed sales? Effective PR will contribute materially to an increase in closed sales. If you don’t see it, it’s not working. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you have a well defined sales process, you’ll see changes from the very beginning.
How does a PR firm like RGA charge me?
In the way that makes the most sense. Most of our clients like to work out a fixed-rate, monthly retainer for a fixed period of time. We set goals, milestones, monitoring and reporting methods and then get to work. Sometimes, we’re called upon to just complete a single deliverable. We can charge by the hour or by the project for these jobs.
Is Social Media too risky for my firm to embrace?
No. At the risk of being cliché, your biggest risk comes from not getting engaged soon enough and deeply enough. You can’t break the rules in social media any more than you can break them in a print ad or television appearance. But as long as you remain compliant, social media can be one of the most effective ways to build relationships, which are the only things that ever lead to sales.
Why isn’t the “ink” we’re getting in the trades translating into more sales?
Are the stories you appear in of interest to the people you hope to sell to? Are the topics you speak about important to the prospects you’re calling upon? Anyone can get ink, as long as they’re willing to say something audacious. But can you say something of value to the people you want to do business with? That’s how you win “ink” that can shorten your sales cycle.
Why aren’t our press releases getting picked up in the trades?
Are you sending them to the right people? Are you sure that every release you send out tells a compelling story that provides some value to the readers these publications serve? Just because you print it on a sheet that has the words “press release” at the top doesn’t make it newsworthy. To get “ink” you need to provide information that reporters want to publish.
Why isn’t my company being covered by the trade press?
Are you sending them press releases? If so, are they going to the right people? Are you sharing information and expertise that will benefit their readers or just trying to get them to publish your marketing material? Reporters serve publication readers. If you want to be part of the stories they write, you need to help them get that job done.