🏆 Answering The Two Most Common PR Questions
How much should you spend on PR?
This issue of The Feed answers some of our readers’ most pressing questions from founders and operators about PR: cost and timing. Let’s dive in!
The sky’s the limit on PR spend, but in order to see results, it’s important you and your company have some foundational pieces in place before you begin a full court press effort.
Realistically how much money does a company need to spend a month to get value from PR? - Brian (Accelerator, New York)
This is one of the most common questions about PR, likely because there is no one size fits all answer. Before we delve into cost, it’s important to figure out when a PR push would make strategic sense for your company.
First, determine what stage of life your company is in.
Do you have a compelling story to tell with proof points?
Has your product or service been tested and adopted by a group of core users?
Have you identified a solid product market fit?
If you feel that your product or company is in a place where you are ready to attract new users and gain attention for yourself, and you have a number of interesting upcoming initiatives that would benefit from a holistic communications strategy, PR should be a key part of your plan. If you are prioritizing product development, market fit or other more internal-focused efforts, you can lighten up on dedicated PR spend.
A general rule of thumb is that a company should spend 10 - 15% of its marketing budget on PR. Agency and freelance costs can range anywhere from below $10,000 to upwards of $70,000 (and above) per month for larger agencies. Determine what you can afford and be realistic about what you need to achieve the results you want. A talented freelancer or small team of experts may be just the fit, and can provide more one-on-one support and strategy.
The most important thing is to find a team or an individual that understands your product and vision, listens and asks questions, can easily collaborate with your team, and is able to create a compelling storyline about your company that resonates with media and consumers.
I have a number of big announcements I want to put out to press. How do I evaluate and time them so I can get the most impact for my brand? - David (Content Development, Los Angeles)
Great question, David! You definitely want to hit a sweet spot where your news can breathe, but you also don’t want to be radio silent for too long between announcements. In terms of your announcements, it’s best to go out with the biggest, splashiest one first because that will help to catch attention as well as set the tone and context for later news. If there are a number of smaller announcements that might not be enough to stand alone, but together could create a compelling story, you can consider grouping them for more impact.
Here’s an example of a strategy we built and executed for a company that had a number of announcements, including funding, acquisition/new hire and an industry study, to be released over the course of three months:
First, we went with the biggest news - the new funding - which was an industry-record. By leading with the funding, we were able to secure top-tier coverage of the company, its mission and its vision.
Three weeks later, we announced the company had made its first acquisition, on the heels of its significant fundraise. This was a way to showcase the rapid growth of the company and position it as a leader in the market.
Four weeks later, we are set to release an industry study that will help to position the company as a thought leader and expert within the space.
Each touchstone allowed us to reinforce the company’s mission and vision, secure press coverage for the company’s CEO, and establish the company as the leader in the space. By strategically spreading the announcements out, we were able to create a steady drumbeat of press for the company, allow each piece of news to have its moment, and give our media contacts enough spacing in between outreach so that the news felt fresh for their audiences.
Do you have a question you’d like answered about branding, marketing and communications? Send us a note at email@example.com or reply to this email and we may feature it in an upcoming mailbag issue of The Feed.
🤝Let’s work together. If you would like to learn more about Robin, or want to talk about your brand’s marketing, communications, and product development initiatives, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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