Photo Credit: Respective Owner - this is not a direct quote from Sex and the City
Beginning any new endeavor elicits excitement at all of the possibilities. Starting a new business relationship with a PR firm should generate a similar feeling. While shooting for the stars is admirable, it’s not entirely realistic to reach them in a condensed time frame. It is imperative that when you strike up this new relationship, you also set realistic expectations for the timeline and outcomes of it. Your timeline for realistically achievable outcomes depends on many factors, such as the following:
Has there been much, or anything, published about you / your business?
Do you have a unique, well-crafted website?
Do you have established social media?
How long has your business been around?
Do you have funding?
Do you have an interesting story to tell/ have you crafted one yet?
Who are your competitors? Are they getting top-tier coverage? How long have they been around? When did they start getting that kind of traction? What do you do differently than them?
Do you have any keynote speaking experience?
If you or your business has never been featured, your business is very niche, or is brand new — you are more than likely not going to be featured in large publications or give a TED Talk within the first months. You have no social proof. One of the only exceptions for this would be if you had a strategic partnership or a significant financial agreement with a large company. Working with a PR agency will bolster your credibility and create social proof for your business — building the necessary foundation to procure prestigious opportunities in the future.
Also, if a PR firm pitches you saying they can generate those features/coverage for you, despite your lack of social proof, mark it as spam and keep on moving. As in most fields, there are people who will try to sell you their “get rich/famous quick” scheme. They’ll say they can get you into Forbes — but what they don’t tell you is that the feature won’t be written by a staff writer /reporter /editor, who are the individuals that garner tens of thousands even millions of views. Instead, they’ll get a contributing writer to cover the feature, who will typically get only a fraction of the views. With any rule, there are exceptions. In this case, there are some contributing writers who do have a large following and will garner views. These are not contributors who will be vetted for you. With their clout, they will necessitate the aforementioned social proof in order to publish you, rendering them useless in the “get rich/famous quick” scheme. So, yeah you were in Forbes but no one saw you (if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one around to hear it — did it really happen?). Unfortunately, that means that it didn’t generate any traction for your business, which is one of the sole reasons to invest in PR.
Photo Credit: Respective Owner
Recently, I was vetting a publicist, who was interested in joining my team. I asked her to submit samples of the work she’d gotten placed. The first link she sent me was from a contributing writer for MSN, who used the wrong form of “to” within the first line of the article. Upon researching the contributing writer, I found she had little online presence and social proof to support her credibility. MSN.com says their news tab secures 700+ million views per month, which is significant; however, this article garnered very minimal viewership (which is probably for the best) and, all in all, a waste for the client. I encourage you to invest in a PR firm with a solid strategy to avoid this pitfall.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Allow me to introduce myself
I’m Mariya Pallais (surprise surprise) - first and foremost a Millennial, meaning memes and wine are a way of life. To further exploit cliches, I love dogs and have a chinchilla, who I call my child. I started in the Marketing department of AirBnB, which feels on brand, and decided that I wanted to create a life where I do it myself (PR, not home rentals).
So, I broke out on my journey to entrepreneurship, which like all good journeys had a few flat tires but resulted in a great view. Mariya Pallais PR has been around for 5 years now and when I’m not grinding away, I’m in a wetsuit somewhere 100 feet under the sea. Over the last 5 years, I’ve expanded my connections and fine-tuned my processes - but don’t take my word for it (or do, that’d be great), let’s hop on a call so you can see for yourself.