As we wrap up the first quarter of 2016, we’re often eager to begin executing the promotional plans we have put in place for the year. But many make the mistake of moving forward too quickly and the end result is lackluster.
This is especially true when it comes to forming a more aggressive PR strategy, whether through real wedding submissions, media pitches, speaking engagements, TV appearances, podcast interviews, or guest blogs.
Before you decide to take the press plunge, it’s imperative to considering the following (4) points:
Your Goals – Everyone pursues PR strategies for different reasons. Some are chomping at the bit for an extensive press page featuring various boutique blogs and magazines to impress their clients, while others want to keep it local and saturate their market with their presence. Whatever your reason may be, make time to clearly define your public relations goals and objectives before taking the next step. Goals build you a roadmap and allow you to measure the success of your initiatives.
Your Brand – There is no use investing in marketing and PR initiatives until you are confident that your brand is a true representation of who you are, as well as attracting the type of clients you want. If you haven't done so already, make sure your brand is top notch—from your logo and website to your marketing materials. Otherwise, you’ll end up drawing more attention to your brand but see very little return for your efforts.
Your Reputation – There are very few event pros who will make it through their entire career without one bad review. You could do everything right and you're still going to catch someone on a day when they wake up on the wrong side of the bed, log into one of the many online platforms to grade you—and give you an F-. Before you take a more aggressive PR approach, make sure that your reputation is sparkling.
Your Lead Tracker – As I gently remind clients on a regular basis, it's vital that you are tracking your prospective clients as they come in the door, virtually or otherwise. Be sure that all systems are a go on your website’s contact form, and that you have a system in place to capture all of the must haves- name, wedding date, number of guests, where they heard about you, etc. PR doesn't necessarily always send a prospective directly to you, but if it does, you'll want to know about it.
Public relations is fantastic way to build value for your services, as well as help you stand out from the competition. There's no doubt that press will inevitably send people your way, and the questions is: Will you be ready for it?
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting, which specializes in getting wedding professionals their brides. She is a highly sought after industry speaker and serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor for Virginia Commonwealth University.