When Should You Hire A PR Company?
By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
Interior designers, because of the creative nature of their business, often tend to feel they are, or have to be, experts in every creative area – graphic design, website design, and even PR. When you are just launching your business, you may do more things “in-house”, but as your business grows, you need to ask yourself the value of promoting yourself on a more professional level.
So when should you decide to turn the PR work over to a professional? When you have developed a clear vision and have decided to expand and grow your business, it’s time to think seriously about hiring a PR firm. At this point you have some definitive long term goals as to where you see your firm down the line – 5 or 10 years from now.
It’s also time to work with a PR firm when you have completed your “homework” and most important on that list is to have clearly identified the culture and vision of your business – why does your company exist, where is it going, and how do you plan to get there? Then what is your unique value proposition – what makes your firm different? These are just a few things you have to have clearly defined so that you can easily communicate them as you interview various PR firms.
Obviously hiring a PR firm will require a larger budget so you need to account for that additional cost – and weigh that cost against the value (the ROI – return on your investment) to the success of your firm if you hire a PR professional. Ask them how you should be able to measure success.
Begin to interview various PR firms to find out their unique value proposition as well as their culture so that you can decide if you would be a good fit. Find out what they feel they can offer you to make it worth your investment. And, of course you need to know what that investment will be. What do they charge for their services and can you start small and add services later? Will they be able to reach media contacts not easily available to you? Have they worked with interior design firms before? You might ask them why you should hire them and not have someone in-house take care of it. The answer to that question should give you a better idea of the value of working with a professional PR firm, and in particular that firm.
So when the time is right and you have made the decision to grow your company and have done the necessary homework and set aside the budget for it, take your own advice and begin to interview PR firms who are experts in their field to find a “partner” to help you in the next stage of expanding your business.