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about the success of their client as does the owner of the business.


Before you begin to look for a firm,make sure your business plan is set and ready to be shared. Before getting involved with an external partner, you should first consider your business goals,as the only way a PR firm’s efforts will succeed is with the knowledge of exactly what you, as their client, are working toward.


Whether you are launching a new con- cept, expanding,or simply looking for a refresh in the marketplace,a public rela- tions firm can help with anything - from increasing company website traffic to engaging a target audience - but you have to make your objectives clear, and be willing to openly discuss your goals with them.


Once your goals have been established, it is important to be straightforward about every aspect of your business. In order for a firm to do its job and yield results,a business must be honest from the start.


If there have been any issues that have negatively affected your business in the past,be sure to explain the specifics. Be open about your challenges and other potential roadblocks to meeting your goals. This allows for tactical planning and message development,and for tak- ing on a proactive, rather than reactive, approach.


Also,when seeking a public relations firm to hire, try to begin your search long before you actually need the services of one. It is essential that you find a compa- ny that is a good fit as a professional partner for your business. Ask previous and current clients of each of the firms you are considering about their experi- ences. There is a significant opportunity cost to partnering with the wrong firm. It is important to feel a healthy rapport and level of trust with your PR firm,but it’s even more imperative that the firm has a proven track-record of driving results and ROI.


(Speaking of…) Be prepared for results!


We know how great it feels to see a full- page spread in your favorite publication that results in increased foot and website traffic, full reservations,and/or several bookings calls. Just make sure that your business and staff are fully prepared for the potential interest that can result from a great story or broadcast segment.


Before engaging a PR firm,make sure your website is up and running to perfec- tion, and that you have the right staff in place who will make you proud.


As PR practitioners,we always say that we can help share the message and drive traffic,but your customers’experience is up to you!


Questions, comments or suggestions? We’d love to chat with you!


Twitter:@cashmanassoc • 215-627-1060 www.cashmanandassociates.com


Cashman & Associates offers expertise in all facets of brand communications services, frompublic,


community andmedia relations to event execution, strategic solutions and crisismanagement.


Mid-Atlantic EVENTS Magazine 81


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