Marsha's company News & Experts represents many corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, politics, law, lifestyle, sports, finance, and entertainment.
When Marsha Friedman launched News & Experts in 1990 under the name EMSI Public Relations, she came up with a new pay-for-performance model of PR, which was an innovative approach for PR agencies. Clients would not pay a monthly retainer fee, as is standard in the industry.
Marsha Friedman says, "We design PR campaigns around one simple fact: We Guarantee Media Coverage. As the Guaranteed Media PR Firm, we don’t promise clients our “best efforts,” instead, we GUARANTEE print coverage—online and off—as well as TV and radio interviews.
Marsha Friedman doesn’t like sitting still. As a prominent businesswoman, she has run her public relations firm successfully through prosperity and adversity, ironically having one of her best revenue years in the midst of 2009’s recession. As a publicity expert, she has authored the book Celebritize Yourself.
Marsha Friedman launched News and Experts in 1990. Some of the more prominent names on her client roster are Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane and the famous Motown Group, The Temptations.
She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.
How To Hire The Best PR Firm For You
By Marsha Friedman
I often talk to people who know they need publicity and want professional help to get it but find and hiring PR agencies to be a confusing and daunting task.
That’s understandable. Public relations firms differ in a thousand ways, it seems. For one, they use different business models – some charge monthly retainer fees while others are pay-for-performance, meaning you pay only for actual media coverage. Firms also have a whole range of specialties, from crisis communications to public affairs to research and analysis. How can you possibly determine which is the right firm for you and your needs?
I shared some practical tips for doing just that in my book, Gaining the Publicity Edge: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing Your Brand Through National Media Coverage. I know how valuable PR can be for building your brand, so it’s important to be an informed shopper
If you’re considering hiring a PR firm for the first time, or you’ve hired one in the past and were unhappy with the experience, these tips should help.
Find a firm that has successfully dealt with clients in your industry. That firm will understand your industry’s idiosyncrasies, its jargon, and what it views as newsworthy. It won’t be trying to learn about your industry on your dollar, and it will already have relationships with relevant publications, blogs, and TV and radio shows. If you’re also an author, find a firm that works as well with book reviewers and book bloggers.
Hire a firm that specializes in the right media for you. Most PR firms specialize in print media (getting editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines, both online and offline), and many focus on social media. But your audience may be watching TV talk shows, or you may like the convenience and immediacy of podcasts and talk radio. The firm should be able to determine whether a particular medium is appropriate for your message and audience, and it should have a strong track record in gaining clients exposure in whichever media they will be using.
Ask to see sample campaigns. This is the only way to get a feel for the work they have done and the quality and quantity of coverage they may be able to obtain for you. Keep in mind that a number of variables influence the success of a campaign, and they’re not all within the firm’s control. Breaking news events are a good example. Still, this should give you a good idea of a firm’s track record.
Make sure you understand the fee structure. Many retainer firms add charges for actions they take on your behalf. So in addition to the monthly retainer, you can expect to be billed for materials they write for the press, or time spent on research, phone charges, copying, postage, etc. This can make it hard to plan your budget.
Try to find a firm whose fees are tied to performance. One of the reasons I chose to make my company a “pay-for-performance” model was to ensure clients would leave satisfied. For example, if they pay for 15 talk radio and podcast interviews, that’s what they get. And if we can’t get them all 15 in a predetermined amount of time, we will return the money for those we can’t schedule or compensate them another way. I prefer this approach over the retainer fee model, which can cost you thousands of dollars a month with no guarantee of results.
Keep in mind the most important thing is to find a company that you feel understands you and your message, and that you will be comfortable working with. They should be as enthusiastic as you are about promoting your company, product or book.
If your PR firm heartily supports your cause and performs like a real member of your team, you are both in for a truly rewarding experience.
P.S. If you want professional advice on getting the most out of your publicity efforts, give us a call at 727-443-7115 or simply reply here.
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