Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. As a highly sought-after speaker in the wedding industry, she is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire as well as the national Communications and Marketing Director for WIPA. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you, as well as more about our new wedding PR kits, please visit us today.
Over the years, we’ve shared tips and tricks on WeddingWire about how to be your own wedding publicist, but for some, there may come a point when it’s time to consider hiring an outside firm.
So how do you know when it’s time to take the leap? First, consider what strategies are resulting in the biggest ROI. If you’re finding that real wedding features have served you well in the past, and that you may benefit from bringing someone in who can take things up a notch.
Additionally, take a good hard look at how you’re spending your time. If you value the role PR plays in your business but know your time is better spent elsewhere (making sales, focusing on the client experience or even simply doing what you love), then a PR consultant may be your solution.
Hiring a wedding PR agency can seem intimidating – especially if it’s one of your first experiences with bringing in a consultant. The very best way to get you started is to ask trusted friends and colleagues for referrals. They’ll be upfront with you about the benefits as well as the challenges. Don’t have anyone within your inner circle with this experience? If you belong to any industry groups (off or online), consider putting out feelers with them.
And what sort of things should you look for when qualifying candidates?
A PR company’s press portfolio (both their clients and their own) is one of the most important components to review. This will lend insight into their current media relationships as well as the type of press they specialize in, whether it be online, print or on the air. Make sure to ask for their most current press to see what’s kept them busy in the last 6-12 months.
The goal is to find a company that understands your specialty, but doesn’t represent your competitors, which can sometimes be a tall order. If this is the first time the company will be working with your type of company (or your region), be sure to have them outline their approach, to make sure you are both on the same page.
Their social media
Social media is a window into a company’s brand so there are a number of things you want to consider. How do they present themselves online? Do you see them interacting with the media? Promoting their clients when they get press? If they aren’t active, is there a reason for it?
When the time comes to interview wedding PR firms, be sure to ask the following:
- Who will I be working with on your team?
- How often will we be in touch with one another?
- Will I be receiving a regular report of your efforts?
- What will you need from me in order for this to be a successful partnership?
- How do you measure results?
When wrapping up your search, be sure to review proposals at length and interview references. It may seem like entirely too much work, but you’ll be thankful you took the time to qualify candidates.
Have no fear – there is quite a bit you can do representing yourself in the wedding media, so hiring an outside firm may not be necessary. Those ready to take the next step should keep in mind the above to ensure they find the very best fit for their wedding company.