Pretty much every day, people ask me how to choose a publicist and what makes a good publicist. I have covered this before, but since I wrote it, things have changed significantly. I hope this answers all your questions.
Before you even think of hiring a publicist, see if it’s in the budget. It’s a worthwhile investment, if you can afford it for more than a month or two, and you hire the RIGHT publicist.
Johnny-Come-Lately PR Firms
For some reason there seems to be an influx of new PR firms. Some have no PR experience, adult experience, or both. A real publicist is a trained professional with a huge list of contacts and knows the proper protocol. If you hire someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, this could ultimately make you look bad. Many people think anyone can do PR and this is so NOT the case—it’s not as easy as you think. This is why many new PR firms fail, because they won’t go the distance and get the expertise behind them. They realize it’s not easy and the competition is fierce.
Find Out All You Can About Who You’re Hiring
Make sure you do your research on your publicist. What’s their track record? Do they have a good list of past and present clients? See who’s worked with them, what experience they had and what results they produced. Make sure they can write a decent press release and have some stellar connections (yes, it is about who you know). Google them to see what comes up. Most of our business comes from referrals.
Will Your Potential Publicist Looking Out for Your Best Interests
If your publicist is an adult performer like you, they’re probably not looking out for your best interests. You will see them spending a lot of time promoting themselves and putting out weekly (or daily) press releases on themselves and walking the red carpet—this will not help your career and you’ll just be paying to further theirs.
People who own multiple businesses also are generally not focused on PR as much as they should be. Pick a publicist whose main job (or only job) is PR, who is focused on their clients.
Picking the Cheapest PR Firm Isn’t Always Best
Of course, you need to pick a PR firm that you can afford. Having PR for a few months isn’t enough—it usually takes at least that long for you to see results.
Some PR firms offer free or reduced rates. Why? Because, they’re trying to build up their roster and make a name of you or whomever they sign. The old catch phrase “you get what you pay for” holds true here. With the economy the way it is, most PR firms are charging less and many are the same price. Don’t look for the best deal; look for the best PR firm.
Big Promises That Never Come True
Realistically look at what your potential PR firm is offering you. Are they saying they will absolutely get you into Vanity Fair or Penthouse? Unless you’re already a household name or some fluke occurs, this isn’t likely right away or even in the first six months to a year. Are they promising to make you a big star right away? Another thing that’s not likely to happen. Big promises never end well. My firm never over promises and we’re always honest about what we offer.
Find Out What You Will Be Getting
Many publicists offer a myriad of services. Make sure you have it in writing what they will be doing for you. Many PR firms offer social media and others don’t, and this important to know. Questions like this should be asked.
What’s Your Return Investment
You might be shelling out a thousand or more a month for PR. What does that get you? Is the publicist you’re considering hiring only offer you a few press releases and interviews each month? You want to get a publicist who will give you more bang for your buck. Compare PR agencies and the services they offer—paying a lot and getting very little sucks. It’s also important to note that having PR won’t always get you more work right away, but it can get your name out there and get you more work down the road.
Results, Results, Results
Like any busy business, PR is results oriented. What is your publicist doing for you? Are you getting interviews on sites with a lot of traffic and top magazines? It takes time to get everything on your wish list. If you’re getting one press release a month and nothing else, that won’t cut it. Also keep in mind to get results, you need to communicate with your publicist and let them know what you have going on and what you want, and work as a team.