As a public relations firm, we often are asked by small business owners why they should choose us instead of just doing it themselves? It is a valid question. A small business owner loves his or her business more than we ever could hope to. They know their product. They may even have the time. Entreprenuer Magazine even did a blog calling for small business to DIY their public relations. Of course, the author of the piece makes a living of “teaching” DIY seminars. Conflict much?
Well, let’s deconstruct the “article” with some truths:
Falsehood No.1 : Use your own rolodex
The writer laments that when you hire a PR firm, you don’t get access to their media lists when the work is done. Well, when you hire a dentist, do you get to use their tools when they are done? Also, the writer encourages a small business owner to build their own media sources. That can be done, but it takes time. A lot of time. As a small business owner myself, I can tell when you are balancing a budget or trying to pay taxes, the last thing you can be thinking about is how to pitch your story.
Falsehood No. 2: You have a chance to make use of hidden opportunities
The writer uses an example of someone in marketing using their non-profit work to get a story about them being a “local hero.” The writer then claims an agency would never think of that. Say what? That is what we do best. We look for ways to give back and build community good will. That is public relations basics.
Falsehood No. 3: Live a better story
Honestly, we read this person’s graph about five times, and not sure what they meant. By failing at doing your own pr, you become a better business owner? And then the writer says hire an out-of-work journalist to do your public relations.
The reality is that not every business can hire a firm or needs a firm. But when it doubt, give them a call.