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When is a company ready for PR? If your business is growing, that’s a question you will eventually need to address. For some organizations, knowing when to pull the trigger on public relations boils down to the timed launch of a new product or service; for others, the transition to public relations is more gradual and hinges on a desire to leverage public relations as a tool to amplify thought leadership or industry presence.
But regardless of your motivation, the ability to answer the question, "When is a company ready for PR?" is a critical business skill—and in many cases, a determining factor in the organization’s ability to achieve strategic initiatives and reach planned growth targets.
In many ways, decision-makers who ask when is a company ready for PR are really asking whether or not their business is prepared to maximize the value of PR investments. At Walker Sands, we routinely leverage public relations strategies and tactics to achieve several important benefits for our clients:
But the catch is that your organization’s ability to capture achievable benefits from your PR investments will depend on your company’s level of engagement with your public relations firm. In other words, to answer the "when is a company ready for PR" question, you need to determine whether or not your company is prepared to fully participate in the public relations process.
As you consider the possibility of leveraging public relations for growth and market advantage, there are a handful of questions you will need to ask—all of which relate to the larger question of when is a company ready for PR.
Every brand has a story, a meta-narrative that defines your business and describes the products or services that differentiate your brand from the competition. A good PR firm can help clarify and broadcast your story, but you will need to be prepared to exemplify your story through your products, services and interactions with customers.
Effective PR will require your company to become an active participant in the relationship with your public relations firm. With that in mind, you will need to bring resources to the table, i.e. the knowledge and expertise of key employees as well as the involvement of satisfied customers who are positioned to serve as brand advocates.
You can’t answer "When is a company ready for PR?" without first asking "What will success look like?" and "What do you hope to accomplish from your public relations investments?" By carefully defining success and working with a PR firm that monitors your progress toward your goal, you can significantly improve the value and effectiveness of your public relations initiatives.
Many businesses underestimate the amount of time it takes to actively engage with their PR firms. Dollar for dollar, public relations is one of the most effective promotional investments you can make—but to achieve your goals, your business will need to invest time in various types of activities on a weekly basis.
At Walker Sands, we’re committed to helping B2B and technology companies start leveraging public relations as a way to achieve key business goals.
Our "5 Questions to Ask Before Launching a PR Campaign: For Startups" white paper contains detailed information that will help answer the "when is a company ready for PR" question and enable you to start taking advantage of public relations for measurable business improvement.