When Are You Ready to Hire a PR Firm?

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There is no doubt that public relations is an essential asset to every business. Public relations firms help manage the public perception of an organization. Today, PR is done through a variety of integrated paid, earned, shared and owned strategies..

Brands look to enhance, protect and/or develop their reputation using public relations. But how can your brand/organization determine if you are ready to hire a professional PR firm?

1. You need expertise and experience beyond your in-house team to reach your business goals

You are ready to hire a public relations firm if you have an effective business plan with meticulously identified goals for the year as well as a marketing plan. (Remember, PR is just one piece of the marketing pie.) It is common for a business to know where they would like to go but need some help getting there. Keep in mind that this applies to both new companies and established brands.

2. You know what distinguishes you from your competitors

What makes your business unique? While this might seem like a straightforward question, it could unearth many opportunities to distinguish your brand and business. Public relations professionals can help you considerably by homing in on the most important and compelling differentiators to determine the most suitable and newsworthy storylines from a media perspective.

3. You want to protect your brand

There is no denying that technological advances have completely changed how PR professionals do their job. Through the utilization of different social media platforms, your brand can gain more awareness than ever before. The downside to an increase in public awareness means your company may be subject to more scrutiny. Make sure to research public relations firms to see if they have experience with crisis management. Not only will this help you network, but it will help protect you and your business’s reputation.

4. You have the time to commit to a solid plan

Most PR firms work on a 12-month retainer. Why? A solid strategic PR plan does not happen overnight. PR takes time. If you just want to focus on scattered tactics you won’t get the results you desire. My favorite line is “PR is a marathon not a sprint.”

5. You have a budget

Just like payroll services or any other professional service you may outsource, you should have a designated communications budget before interviewing and eventually hiring a public relations firm. It’s understandable if you have not worked with a PR agency before and have no idea what it may cost. Ask.

Most PR firms bill on a 12-month retainer. This is a win-win for both you and the agency. There are no unexpected budget swings and it gives you you the dependability of a consistent strategic approach.

At TrizCom Public Relations, our sweet spot for the majority of our clients ranges from 30-60 dedicated hours per month. This equates to about $6000-$10,000 a month. Of course, we will never quote a retainer fee without knowing what your objectives are. But, we will almost always be able to give you a range.

Don’t be afraid of telling the prospective firm what your budget is. Most firms will build a proposal around your budget and if they can’t do the work for your budget, most will know of an individual or smaller firm that can.

For a free PR consultation, just give us a call at 972-247-1369 or visit us online at www.TrizCom.com.

Support Dallas-Area Nonprofits on Prime Day!

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Amazon Prime Day is here – and predicted to shatter sales records for the fourth year in a row over the two-day event. For those of you living under a rock, Amazon Prime Day is a magical time of year when Amazon does their best Oprah impression and gives Prime members special discounts on featured items. Last year, estimated sales exceeded $4 billion globally during the 36-hour sale. But did you know that your shopping spree could also benefit a charity of your choice? When Prime members shop through AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to the individual's preferred charity. If every Prime member shopped with AmazonSmile in 2018, approved nonprofits would have received over $20 million in donations!

AmazonSmile donations are made at no extra cost to the customer, who can choose which organization to support from nearly 1 million public charitable organizations. The best part is that the shopping experience is not impacted at all – the only difference is, customers need to make their purchases on www.Amazonsmile.com instead of www.Amazon.com. Though 0.5% is not a very large amount for a donation, and it isn't intended to replace a customer’s regular charitable activities, AmazonSmile continues to be a great way to take advantage of a service customers are using anyway.

Several Dallas-area nonprofits are participating in Amazon Prime Day this year, encouraging shoppers to select a charitable cause during their shopping spree through AmazonSmile. From helping lift families out of poverty to supporting families battling pediatric cancer, finding forever homes for homeless animals or providing life-saving support to families in Guatemala, Dallas residents have the opportunity to make an impactful difference by shopping Prime Day through AmazonSmile.

By now, you’re probably asking yourself which Dallas nonprofits are participating this year and how you can get involved. No worries! Check out Dallas’ local nonprofit list below to find out more information and what kind of care they provide the Dallas community.

The Community Council of Greater Dallas

The Community Council was founded in 1940 and has identified services that are needed in the Dallas community. The services have been assessed on how best to be delivered to the community to meet social issues, and mobilizing and implementing action plans that work together with its member agencies and public sector resources. The issues often found by Community Council include juvenile delinquency and welfare, seniors, public health, day care and legislative advocacy. The organization meets these challenges through fact-based research, volunteers, creating and fostering new services and agencies, expanding government programs, convening collaborative work and delivering selected direct services.

To find more information about the Community Council, visit their website at https://www.ccadvance.org/.

Heroes for Children

Heroes for Children is a nonprofit that provides community support via social and financial assistance to Texas families with a child aged 0 to 22 battling pediatric cancer. Since the founding of the organization in 2004, the organization has given nearly $6 million to 6,000 families. They are the only organization in the state of Texas that also provides financial assistance for fertility preservation and funerals. The impact of childhood cancer is felt by the entire family and Heroes for Children provides additional social programs and events in the DFW, Houston, San Antonio and Austin areas that give children and their families the opportunity to participate in activities for the whole household. Heroes for Children ensures that no family fights pediatric cancer alone.

You can learn more about Heroes for Children by visiting https://heroesforchildren.org/.

Operation Kindness

Operation Kindness is the original and largest no-kill animal shelter in North Texas. Founded in 1976, the organization’s mission is to care for homeless animals until each is adopted into a responsible home. Since its founding and advocacy for humane values and behaviors, Operation Kindness has saved the lives of more than 105,000 animals. On average, the shelter cares for 400 animals daily and assists with more than 5,000 cats and dogs each year.

Not only is it an opportunity to check out some adorable pets up for adoption, but you can find out more about Operation Kindness by visiting https://www.operationkindness.org/.

HELPS International

Steve Miller, a Dallas-based investment banker and CEO of Dillon Gage, one of the world’s largest precious metals wholesale trading firms, accepted an invitation in 1981 that was extended to private groups by the Guatemalan government in an effort to bring aid to poverty-stricken areas. After witnessing the tremendous suffering in the region from a 36-year internal conflict, Miller began working with a missionary to bring food, clothing and blankets to the local community. He also assisted in building homes for widows of the war. His efforts eventually led to the founding of HELPS, which was registered as a nonprofit in 1984. HELPS is now a culmination of volunteers and donors who help the community by addressing the root cause of poverty in Guatemala. The four key areas of focus include agriculture, community development, education and health care.

To learn more about Steve Miller and HELPS International, check out their website at https://www.helpsintl.org/.

You Get A Car! You Get A Car! You Get A Car!

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By: Victoria McNamara, Account Coordinator at TrizCom PR

I wish…. But because TrizCom PR knows the power of word-of-mouth publicity, our clients have agreed to give away some of their services for you to experience and then share with your circle of friends and family. The team at TrizCom PR has taken advantage of these offerings and we can personally attest that they are all awesome! And remember, share your experience online and in person! As Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon said, “Word of Mouth is very powerful.”

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Red Mountain Weight Loss

Red Mountain Weight Loss – the leader in nonsurgical methods of sustainable weight loss is offering four free Fat Burner Plus Shots and a free consultation with a licensed medical professional – valued up to $215. The Fat Burner Plus Shots are a key component of Red Mountain’s weight loss programs that provide a long-lasting, two-in-one combo of their Fat Burner and Vitamin B. These shots will help accelerate weight loss while improving energy, eliminating cravings and boosting metabolism.

This offer comes as Red Mountain Weight Loss celebrates the grand opening of their four new locations in DFW March 4. Patients are encouraged to schedule their consultation and mention “FB Plus” when calling any of the locations or submitting an appointment online. 

For more information and to schedule your appointment, please visit https://texas.redmountainweightloss.com/request-an-appointment/

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Modern Acupuncture 

Acupuncture has been used for more than 2,500 years. Through decreasing inflammation and increasing blood flow, acupuncture is known to help alleviate chronic pain such as headaches, joint pain and muscle pain. Tiny needles access distinct points on the body to restore balance, alleviate pain, reduce stress and anxiety, enhance sleep and improve your overall well-being during 30-minute sessions. From now until April 30, Modern Acupuncture is offering one free session at any of their conveniently located DFW centers.

Use the coupon hyperlinked below to claim your free session and start feeling better TODAY! http://newsroom.trizcom.com/uploads/Jo_Trizila_Free_Session_Offer.pdf.

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Strength Genie 

Individuals wanting to experience the benefits of spending five hours at the gym in a fraction of the time now have the option to do so. Strength Genie, a fitness studio located in Frisco, is revolutionizing the way workouts are done. By using prototypical exercise machines powered by artificial intelligence, workouts can be completed within the blink of an eye. In just two 20-minute sessions, you can “bio-hack” your fitness and dramatically increase the effectiveness and safety of your fitness regimen.

The offer is to experience a free, personalized session by working one-on-one with the owner and fitness legend to meet your fitness goals. Strength Genie believes experiencing the equipment hands-on will show the full potential. To learn more and book your free one-on-one session online, please visit https://strengthgenie.com/book-now/.

Whether you are wanting to lose weight, decrease stress or take your fitness to the next level (or all three), you can find what you need through these offers. Take advantage while you can and start working toward a better life!

Remember to share!

Why Your Event Needs Public Relations

Why Your Event Needs Public Relations

What does the PR team do to drive awareness for Dallas Fan Days? At TrizCom, it simply means giving maximum effort. More hours. More research. More heart. As a young PR professional, joining this team allowed me to dive head first into managing a huge event. I learned how to pull a story idea from every angle .

Media Relations – Not a straight line from a to z. A tale told in 29 steps

Media Relations – Not a straight line from a to z. A tale told in 29 steps

Whenever a business is in the news that is not an advertisement we call that earned media. Many times, people refer to this as free media vs. paid media.  The word “free” is a misnomer as a earned media is not as free as we may think it is.  Earned media requires significant manpower from start to finish.

Cultivating the Relationship

By Jeff Cheatham, Senior Account Executive, TrizCom Public Relations

By Jeff Cheatham, Senior Account Executive, TrizCom Public Relations

Managing expectations is a critical component of the agency-client relationship at TrizCom PR. We often begin a new business development meeting by simply asking why they are interested in a public relations campaign. Some have replied that they just want to see their name in the paper, but most are using it as a marketing tool to secure incremental business for their businesses. They believe—and are often proven correct—that earned media equals credibility in the marketplace.

Another caveat we explain in exploratory meetings is that PR is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take months of careful planning, pitching and execution before a client begins to see worthwhile results. We also never guarantee anything. PR firms that promise instant stardom for a client shouldn’t be considered true partners. That being said, we will work our tails off to ensure success, we just don’t promise it from the outset. Our proof points are the client newsrooms we maintain on our website, showcasing earned media wins for each of our existing and former clients.

If the image in their head doesn’t materialize into their version of reality, we encourage an extremely open and honest dialogue with clients. All PR plans are signed off on by clients before we begin campaigns. Each includes objectives, strategies, tactics and most important—how will success be judged by the client? If we can prove we’ve met that standard of success and they’re still not happy, then something changed. We find out what it is, adjust our plan accordingly and continue working.

How to Get Journalists to Cover Your Event

By Jo Trizila, President & CEO, TrizCom Public Relations

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Events: At TrizCom PR, we love events – not only because they are fun but because they are parenthetical; they have a start and an end date, and events are measurable. For many of our events, the pre-promotion is more important for selling tickets than actual event attendance. However, if your event is a press conference, for example, press attendance is imperative.

However, unless you are promoting a best-seller, crowd pleaser or limited offer, it is often difficult to get press coverage.

Here is a good tip sheet from TrizCom PR for attracting media to your event.

1.    Create a plan. Think four months out for long lead pitches, 4-6 weeks out, a week out, the day before and post event.

2.    Know what the cool factor is – i.e., don’t bury the lead. Be as concise and precise as possible.

3.    What is press worthy of this event? Find the news hook. Is someone newsworthy speaking/headlining? Will a newsworthy person be in attendance (elected officials are always a great primer)? 

4.    Know your audience and where they are. Also know your journalist’s audience. Remember, selling the journalist is just part one to event PR – they must sell it to their audience. The topic MUST be relevant to their audience. I would not encourage inviting a technology reporter to a Junior League luncheon – unless Sheryl Sandberg is a member of this Junior League and has confirmed her attendance. Don’t forget your trade publications.

5.    Target influencers – identify top industry influencers and bloggers.

6.    Have images and video. An online press kit with downloadable high-resolution photos, biographies, agendas, etc. is always preferred, but place this information on a jump drive and you are just as good. The object is to make the media’s job as easy as possible.

7.    Can you tie your topic into a current event? We call this newsjacking.

•    If your association is holding a convention and there is a well-known speaker talking about insurance and the rise in premiums, pitch the reporter the speaker’s credentials and mention that he/she would be willing to talk on record about how the Affordable Care Act has impacted the xyzzy industry and their predictions for the future.

•    If you are hosting a medical conference and a leading M.D. is there to talk about a recent study but also has a new product to unveil, make sure you mention that.

•    If by chance you are hosting Fan Expo with Peter Mayhew (original Chewbacca from Star Wars), and a local woman who went viral for wearing a Kohl’s Chewbacca mask in her car has been personally invited to meet Mr. Mayhew – for the love of God, make sure the media is aware of this.

•    We represent a Boat Expo. Recently we tied in boat sales as an economic indicator for the economy. It worked. In fact, the economy topic is considered an evergreen trend. It will always sell.

8.    Write a press release or a media advisory. An ‘if we build it they will come” mentality just doesn’t work if they don’t know anything about it.

9.    Prepare your spokespeople with message points. Knowing why you want media there in the first place will help with what you want the journalist to write about (i.e., message).

10.    Have a person assigned to media. Nothing is worse than inviting a journalist to an event and they aren’t on the list or they wander around with no direction. Have a point person for them to text if they need anything.

11.    Make your own media. Photograph, video and Facebook Live at the event. At a few press conferences we have hosted, I was afraid breaking news would interfere with their attendance. I have hired a few photo journalists to mimic press and tape the event. The strategy works twofold – the audience and the client don’t realize they are not press, and secondly, you have great video to pitch post event.

12.    If it is a party, allow them to bring a guest.

13.    Remember the 5 Ws plus…
•    What? What is the event about? (20 words or less)
•    When? When is the event? (Date AND time – if someone is speaking at a particular time, note that. If it is a drop in at any time, mention that.)
•    Where? Where is the event? (Consider this when inviting the media to cover the event. I know of very few journalists who will travel for an event.)
•    Why? Why should the journalist care about YOUR event?
•    Who? Who will be there?
•    How? How do they let you know they want to attend?
•    Your personal contact information including cell.

14.    The final and most important factor - to get a journalist to cover your event is to simply invite them.


 
 

What the Future Might Hold…

By: Jessica Donaldson, TrizCom PR Intern

I am a senior public relations student in the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas. I have already taken some awesome classes that have taught me the building blocks of PR. As the treasurer for UNT’s chapter of PRSSA, I’ve been given some great opportunities to learn about my career field. My experience with the Mayborn School has been excellent, but there truly are some things you can only learn on the job.

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For my last semester before graduation, I was fortunate enough to land an account coordinator internship with TrizCom Public Relations. This is my first real job in public relations, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect coming in.

I have heard from other students that they did a lot of busywork such as making copies, checking emails, taking notes, making coffee, etc. at some of their PR internships. While those are tasks that need to be done, they are certainly not what being an intern at TrizCom is all about. On my first day I was already doing research for a client and writing a media alert. By Day Two I was using technology I had never heard of to compile media lists and keep track of local new opportunities. I have been here a week now, and I already feel more equipped to work in PR than ever before.

I think being an intern at TrizCom is a unique opportunity because of the professional staff here. Not only are staff members experts at what they do, but they genuinely want to share their knowledge with me. Just like a typical internship, I have learned a lot simply from watching how TrizCom’ s account executives interact with clients, create content and conduct research. What makes working at TrizCom different is that the account executives ask me to help them with their work, they give me assignments that actually matter, and they are always willing to assist me if I have questions.

So far TrizCom seems like a great place to work, and I am excited to see what the rest of the semester holds.