Long before Fresh + Fit even existed, I experienced my own trials and tribulations with hiring local publicists and PR agencies. As a health and wellness author published in the United States, it was my job to market myself and my book(s) in Canada, which is where I learned almost everything I know about finding the right fit when it comes to hiring a Vancouver publicist or PR agency.
Now, when approached by clients to execute PR on their behalf, I have some great working knowledge on the subject of hiring these professionals. As someone who has actually hired publicists before (several times), I know what Fresh + Fit can do for my clients and be sure to use what I’ve learned in my past experiences.
So what do I think all wellness businesses should do before hiring a Vancouver publicist or PR agency? Here are 5 things:
Find Someone Who Truly Believes in Your Business
This is so critical, because here’s the deal: if you honestly love something, whether it be a product, person, idea, or intention behind any of those things, you’ll automatically sell it, without even trying.
For example, you could be a vacuum salesperson and sell Electrolux vacuums. But let’s pretend your home is all hard wood and you never vacuum. Plus, you’ve always just hated vacuuming. Do you think you’ll do well selling those vacuums if you don’t use them and don’t like them?
But let’s say you have carpet and a hairy Golden Retriever and you vacuum all the time. You’ve had mediocre vacuums before, but the first Electrolux you buy, you LOVE. You’ll rave to all of your friends about it, and actually even enjoy vacuuming because it does such a great job. So now if you start selling those machines, you’ll do really well, because you honestly love the product, right?
It’s the same with a publicist. He or she needs to really love what you’re doing to be able to do a stellar job selling you and your business to the public. That’s the only way to maximize what a publicist can do for you!
So find someone who loves and believes in what you do, and their job will be easy.
Find Out Exactly What the Vancouver Publicist or PR Agency Will Do to Help You Promote Your Business
This is another hot tip: don’t assume the Vancouver publicist or PR agency will do anything specific. Unless it’s discussed prior to signing a contract, it might not happen. Just be very clear about what you expect, and what you definitely want done.
As always in business, clarity and communication are key.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask A LOT of Questions and Offer Your Own Ideas
If this is the first time you’ll be hiring a publicist, that’s 1) really exciting for you, and 2) a great opportunity to find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about why a great publicist is worth their weight in gold. If the publicist/PR agency you’re interviewing is good at what they do, they should have no problem answering every single question (small or big!) that you throw at them.
Similarly, don’t be afraid to bring your own ideas to the table. Your publicist should have enough grace to take your ideas into consideration and execute on them accordingly (even if that means they don’t get actually done, but are actually discussed).
Also, new and fresh ideas are a publicist’s dream—so your contributions could be very helpful.
Compare Prices, But Remember That Typically, You Get What You Pay For
There are a lot of Vancouver publicists and PR agencies. Like, a lot. And the price scale is equally as diverse as the agencies and the clients they represent. Be sure that you ask for prices and compare with other agencies.
Most publicists will ask for a minimum 3-month contract; some will insist on a year. Depending on what you want or think you need, prices will vary. But it’s important to remember that generally you get what you pay for (though not all the time—I have a personal story about this), and there’s a lot of work that goes into a PR agency’s job. Typical examples are:
- Pitching both print and digital publications
- Helping your brand stand out by doing their homework and comparing you to the next guy
- Tons of writing
- Many personal meetings
- Calendar coordination
- Event promotion/coordination
- Aligning with others on your team, such as your general manager (this may be you!), social media manager, content writer, and in-house photographer
- Analyzing, measuring, and creating data about your business
- General communication on your behalf to media
And more! So again, you (typically) get what you pay for.
This is also incredibly important. Ask for a list of past and present clients (both), and actually connect and communicate with them. Ask questions about how well the Vancouver publicist or PR agency helped to boost your brand, and, if they are no longer clients of that particular person or company, if they’d hire them again.
Real and honest feedback about this is valuable information, and most of the time, those clients will be happy to chat about the person or company you’re considering hiring.
And that’s it! If you have any questions about anything I may have left out of this blog post, please don’t hesitate to ask us. At Fresh + Fit, we pride ourselves on knowing what we do well, and what we prefer to refer out. But if you have a health and wellness business in Vancouver, we’d love to help you promote it.
Contact us for more information! We look forward to hearing from you.
*Written by Jennifer Browne