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Retain a PR Agency when you are a home business?

ImNicheImNiche subscriber Posts: 1
edited December 2007 in Public Relations
A lot of my readers are home business people. PR experts, should they even consider hooking up with a PR firm? I would love to hear the advise so I can share it.


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    PRProPRPro subscriber Posts: 25
    Hi IMNiche,
    Thanks for your note. PR for home-based businesses all depends on the particular goals of the business.
    If these entrepreneurs want to increase credibility, sales and awareness, they can do so cost-effectively via PR efforts... and it doesn`t matter if they are home-based. (In fact, they probably have some unique stories and news to share with the press because they work from home.)
    And I suggest home-based business owners hire a PR expert or firm that specializes in small businesses. This way, entrepreneurs can focus on their core business activities and leave the publicity to a trained specialist.
    However, if they don`t have the funds to hire a publicist, home-based business owners can do their own PR. (See our tips here: http://www.startupnation.com/steps/77/s ... ations.htm). It`s just going to take some extra time and effort - but it`s well worth it.
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    GrillCharmerGrillCharmer subscriber Posts: 7
    Funny… I JUST crossed this bridge.  I actually hired some gals to handle my PR. They have connections in this town and a bunch nationally. After hiring them, I was in the newspaper 2 days later and today I did my first live TV interview on a local show called “Low Country Live”. It`s so hard to know where to spend your hard earned, limited resources. I was on the fence when I closed my eyes and said "Okay, you`re hired" but now... I`m really thinking it was money well spent. Personally for me it`s so hard to be a manufacturer, online retail store, and wholesaler. A lot of people just pick one business and go with it.. Inventing, manufacturing and selling your own product is like running three kinds of companies at the same time, so I just couldn`t do it all. Nobody can deal with tooling and Taiwan but me, so I couldn`t delegate "manufacturing", I`m not at the point where order fulfillment can go away so I couldn`t delegate "retail,  and I felt it important to maintain the personal link to my retailer store buyers and customers, so I couldn`t delegate "wholesale", sooooo, PR was the logical choice for me to outsource.  I like to think I can do it all, but I’m smart enough to know I just can’t.  ImNiche, I’m not a PR expert, I’m a PR customer but I hope I’ve given you insight from another perspective.
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    stonesledgestonesledge subscriber Posts: 608 Silver Level Member
    Hi ImNiche ,
    I think that everyone above has stated some really great points. PR is great for any type of business. You should offer your readers advice on do-it -yourself as well as hiring out a firm. Make sure you tell them to not only to give references but to have them call prior clients to hear their experience with that company. Thier are alot of PR companies out there and some are great and some not so great. These folks may want to take care of their local PR themselves and may leave the national arena to a firm. Melanie had a great point about home based business..it definatley can add to a news story.
    Grill Charms..I am so happy for you..I am watching you grow and succeed and am so excited for you!
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    melanienegrinmelanienegrin subscriber Posts: 0
    Public relations has become such a multifaceted tool for growing awareness about a company and its products and services. Whether you are interested in drawing more people to your web site, getting more attention from the local or national media, or being invited to be a part of shows like Oprah, you need to set some goals for what you`d like PR to do for you. Depending on your goals (and your personal penchant for learning about the fast-changing field of PR), reaching out to a PR expert may be a worthwhile endeavor.
    If you hope to increase online awareness, you may be able to do it on your own - with perhaps some minimal guidance from a PR expert - through sites like prweb.com, participation in blogs, and posts in forums such as Startup Nation. These contribute to a low cost PR plan for small to mid-sized businesses that results in big hits on sites like Google News and Yahoo News. Over time, online PR submissions build upon one another and can lead to a growing list of pre-qualified contacts, especially for service-based businesses.
    Networking and leveraging contacts is also a means to placement. This year, I was given a column write-up in one of the largest papers in NJ because a friend of mine - who had written a book I contributed to - recommended me to the columnist as a local contributor. The column was specifically slanted to home based businesses. It appeared in print and online. Look for a similar column in your area.
    If, instead, you aspire to get into national publications and onto network TV, PR is not your specialty, and you have no personal contacts, reaching out to someone with contacts, expertise, and a track record of success in these areas would certainly be helpful in reaching this goal faster and with less effort.
    So consider your ultimate goal and base your PR partnering decision on that. Don`t pass up small opportunities - like chances to be included in others` publications - that give you interesting news to share and build your PR efforts a little at a time. And if all you need is a little mentoring to format a press release, edit it, and post it online, that works, too. Start with the goal of one press release per month or one every other month, whatever you feel is doable.
    Most importantly, it is critical that you are prepared for the inquiries resulting from the press you receive. The larger the audience for the press, the larger the potential response. Tailor your PR efforts to meet your current resource constraints or have resources lined up in the wings in case the added business comes through. After all, if you can`t serve a pre-qualified customer at the moment they express interest in you, you might lose them. So, above all, be prepared,  whether that means bringing in some added staffing (temporary or permanent) or bumping up the technology needed to process online requests. You will be ready to grow.
    Best of luck in your endeavors,
    Melanie R. Negrin
    Owner & Managing Director
    Merocune Marketing & Public Relations
    We specialize in the creation of marketing and development communications that build community awareness, brand equity, and financial sustainability for nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurial businesses seeking to make a positive difference in the world.
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