901 Tower Drive Suite 420
Troy, Michigan 48098
We have no doubt that there’s a real value in doing PR. It’s a powerful business development tool that brings visibility and credibility to your firm. It improves your image with your key internal and external audiences. It builds or increases brand recognition … positions your people as thought-leaders … raises awareness for the causes that are important to your firm … the benefits go on and on.
BUT … it’s not easy. In fact, for many professional service firms, PR is a “FAIL.” Here are the most common reasons that a professional service firm PR program can fall short:
• Lack of commitment leading to missed opportunities – the firm’s executives need to not only provide financial support, but also resources and their professional involvement to set the right example. PR practitioners need to be able to rely on their executives to be accessible and available when needed. Unfortunately, reporters only call on deadline and often have tight timeframes. Setting this expectation from the start will keep missed opportunities to a minimum. We suggest creating a list of go-to experts for your top topic areas to help you be as responsive as possible in these situations.
• Unrealistic expectations – expecting to be consistently featured in the top tier media outlets (think Wall Street Journal). While this may occur, more frequent coverage in your local, business and key trade media outlets will have more impact on your overall awareness and new business goals. Setting and getting consensus on growth metrics and goals at the beginning of the program will can help eliminate unrealistic expectations.
• Taking a backseat approach – while it’s the PR practitioner’s job to create and secure PR opportunities, the firm’s experts need to provide the thought leadership required to fulfill these opportunities. Executive and expert engagement is a key factor for success … or failure!
• Not valuing the work of the PR professionals – experts’ failure or lack of commitment to understand or value the firm’s PR initiative by not giving PR a “seat at the table” is another factor that can cause PR failures. PR and marketing are valuable components in the overall success of a company. If top executives don’t value your work, the end product is sure to suffer.
Preparation goes hand-in-hand with accessibility. Executves need to keep informed about current events in their industry, their community, and the state and national stages. Having awareness saves time in being able to address a reporter’s questions. Perhaps most important, too, is to have an honest, authentic opinion and the strength of character to state it purposefully whether popular or not.