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What to Consider When Hiring a Vancouver Publicist or PR Agency

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?

Nope.

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.

social media tools

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
  • Networking
  • General communication on your behalf to media

And more! So again, you (typically) get what you pay for.

Check References!

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

*If you’re interested in having your social managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

 

What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

Since we’re in the business of providing social media management, we thought we’d answer the obvious question: what does a social media manager do?

The answer? Way more than you probably think.

Here are 6 jobs that social media managers often find themselves doing for a client:

Managing Socials

This is the obvious one—it’s in the title. The very basic idea behind social media management is to take a load off our clients. It’s hard to build a business and maintain socials at the same time—social media is time consuming! (As if you haven’t already noticed.)

We leverage our expertise in digital marketing to find your target demo and bring those people to your social platform. From there, there’s a call to action that prompts your current and future customers to visit your website and learn more about you and your business.

The happy end result is more traffic being driven to your website, and the increased exposure leads to higher sales for YOU.

Writing

You need to be a great writer to offer great online content—bottom line. Great content is what attracts potential customers to your social platform, and ultimately, to your website and contact page.

By offering intelligent and thoughtful content, we can offer you a better service than the other guys—which is why we emphasize our writing. Our writers are published and familiar with the world of wellness—let us work on your wellness business, one tweet at a time.

Photography

Most social media managers take photos, whether they use a high-end camera or a smart phone. With all of the amazing apps available nowadays to make quality pics look incredible (check out Snapseed!), even an amateur photographer can lend plenty of value to their clients’ digital exposure through basic photography.

Public Relations

Not surprisingly, social media management has quickly evolved to include a little PR from time to time. When we want primary media for social posts, we tend to arrange events and situations that will make for interesting content—and that’s when we put on our public relations hat.

Whether it’s pitching to online or traditional media, we try and place our clients in amazing situations that will increase their public platforms. Why? Because our job is show your target demo that you are everywhere and loved by everyone. We want you in the spotlight, because it makes for great conversation and engagement.

Because isn’t that what social media is all about?

Creative Design

Design happens. Period. Recycling the same images over and over again can get boring, but when primary media sources are low, what’s a social media manager to do?

We get creative. Like, literally.

We use a variety of apps and software to create cool and personalized images to share on your social. We want you to look professional and interesting, and in order to accomplish this, sometimes we take a day (or two!) to get our design on.

Event Coordination

Not unlike the random PR hats we occasionally pull out, event coordination happens, too. Part of being a great social media manager is knowing that our clients are busy—that’s why they hired us in the first place!

We like to create situations in which our clients can show off their business, products, and themselves. At Fresh + Fit, we strongly believe that opportunities don’t just come knocking—we need to create them!

So we do.

I guess what we’re trying to say, is social media managers definitely earn their keep. Our modest title often organically falls into other categories of work; work that we deem necessary to be able to do our job properly. Next time you hum and haw over hiring a social media manager, remember that you’ll probably get more than you bargained for—and that’s a good deal.

So hire a social media manager from Fresh + Fit today! And if you’re still not convinced, watch this video:

 

5 Marketing Lessons to Learn From Star Wars

By Jennifer Browne

As Stars Wars Episode 7 prepares to launch at the end of this week, I can’t help but think that Disney has done as amazing job promoting this movie. I mean, Disney is Disney—they kind of rock their marketing campaigns. But the kind of hype and buzz that is occurring right now WORLDWIDE because of their efforts, is to be talked about and learned from.

Now, if you’re thinking that you have a very small business and no budget for promo and most definitely no team of publicists on retainer 24/7 (whaaat…you don’t have that?!), we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t matter. In this day and age, marketing, if done well, can be free. You don’t need a professional publicist, and your own marketing campaigns can take off and go viral, just like others’ did.

(And will.)

So starting with a few lessons from Star Wars, here are our suggestions on how to rock a marketing campaign for your business, whatever type of business it may be:

Plan

Begin Early

If you have something to promote, start now. Okay…start a few months before your event date/product launch/coupon promotion, or whatever. Starting early creates a buzz, and lets people know that whatever you’re promoting must be cool enough to talk about in advance.

Also, develop a marketing plan.

The Star Wars campaign began as soon as it was announced that The Walt Disney Company bought Lucasfilm—and that was in 2012. Disney began their campaign THREE YEARS before the movie was scheduled to release. The campaign actually had its own name, and it’s own website (Star Wars Celebration).

Saturate the Market

If you have something to promote, promote it everywhere. Talk about it several times a day on social media. Get chatty with your customers or clients. Send out weekly emails. Place free online ads in your local papers, and start a countdown.

Don’t just do one of these things—do them all.

The Star Wars franchise exploded last holiday season, when anything and everything that could possibly do with the movies appeared. There were Halloween costumes, toys, games, posters, and school supplies. Fast-food chains offered swag, and ads were seen on public transit. Theme parks got on board, and huge food companies made little Star Wars-shaped fruit bites.

This got so exciting for people that last week, I walked past a man in a restaurant with a massive fresh Harrison Ford tattoo on his equally giant bicep.

True story.

Advertising Campaign

Don’t Stick to One Strategy

I mean, maybe don’t publicly encourage people to tattoo your logo on their bodies, but to be all cliché, don’t place all your eggs in one basket, either. Spread ‘em out. Send a newsletter. Host a giveaway contest. Promote your product or event on social media, and provide an incentive for anyone who re-tweets your posts.

Take a quick survey on how other people in your line of business are promoting themselves, and then do ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

Go all kamikaze on this, and you will reap better rewards.

Remind People of Your Previous Successes

When Disney announced that they would be releasing an Episode 7 (actually, four more movies), they went ahead and re-released the previous six.

I know this, because my husband bought them all.

Also, right after the movie announcement, Lego began producing and selling Star Wars-themed building sets, with all of the most popular scenes and characters. This was particularly brilliant, because children who are my kids’ ages (under 10), probably didn’t know anything about the franchise.

But now they do—and kids are all about the swag.

So when conducting your marketing campaign, try and incorporate your previous successes. For example, if you own a juicing company, promote your first (presumably successful) juice as a lead-up to the release of your newest one.

Make Your Product or Event Buzz-Worthy

Now we’re talking about your event or product; not so much your campaign. If you’re going to go through the trouble to create and manage an amazing marketing campaign, you should make sure your event or product is worthy of the hassle.

Why?

Because if it is, you can use this campaign to piggy-back your next. Think ahead! Disney has one hell of a vested interest in making sure that 1) their promotions all pay off, and 2) the movie itself doesn’t disappoint. And so should you, when conducting an amazing marketing campaign.

Hey, and you know what? When all else fails, use The Force. (No, we’re not drinking.) We mean to imply that if you can envision it, and you want it bad enough, it will happen. It’s on you, and you alone.

So go get ‘em.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.