In the last episode, I talked about the benefits of working with a publicist to get you media interviews. If you missed it, definitely go back and listen to it, as there are a number of good reasons to work with one. But as I said then, it’s not for everyone.
In this episode, I want to go over some of the drawbacks. And as someone who has worked with three publicists in the past, I know first-hand the drawbacks that they don’t mention.
The monthly fees are very expensive.
Expect to pay somewhere between $3000 and $20,000 per month, again often with a minimum length of contract or a certain length of time you have to give them notice – 30 or 60 days.
Yes, as we talked about last time, you are saving time by investing money. Although you are still going to be doing some of the work helping the publicist with the information for the pitch.
But hiring a publicist can let you spend more time on your business.
What you have to decide is whether the return on that investment – more patients, more customers, more clients – justifies that investment.
They can’t guarantee getting you interviews.
They can only guarantee they will send out press releases or make contacts.
I have heard of publicists you only pay by the interview they get you, but I’d be nervous about that. Are the interviews they get you that way helpful for you and your business or just ones to get the numbers up?
Most are paid by a monthly fee, and that can be for a certain number of hours worked or maybe a certain number of pitches sent out a month.
Also, many publicists, and definitely most PR firms, hire low-cost interns or assistants to actually send out the pitches.
It’s a volume business. Sending out more pitches gives them a better chance of getting you interviews. But it can also lead to publicists “carpet bombing” the media.
I get these pitches all the time to my website, and I don’t even do interviews for articles or videos.
Again, not all publicists do it. Many reputable ones will develop relationships and pitch a specific reporter or producer for you. But beware those who send mass press releases.
The interviews publicists get you might not actually be helpful to grow your business.
They might not be in your city or state. A radio interview in Oklahoma City probably won’t get more clients for an attorney in South Florida. Maybe appearing in a national publication like USA Today or The Wall Street Journal, or on a national TV network like CNN will provide credibility, but appearing in a different local market if your goal is to grow your business in your town might not be that helpful. And unless your publicist lives and works in your town, he or she probably doesn’t have that many media contacts in your town. And honestly, getting contact information for people in your local media just isn’t that hard, at least compared to finding producers of national shows or writers for national publications.
Along the same lines, the interviews might not be on a show that has your target audience. If you are trying to appeal to a certain demographic and certain ideal patient or client or customer, you want to be interviewed where those people are.
You won’t have the contacts to follow up yourself.
All the contact goes through the publicist. The publicist sends the pitch and gets the response. They set up the interview and send the thank you notes.
You never get the email address or the cell phone of that producer or reporter or show host. And without that contact information, you have no way of following up in the future and pitching them new ideas.
Or even if somehow you do get their contact information – maybe you get the reporter’s cell phone number to call for an interview – it’s highly frowned upon for you to pitch that person if the first outreach came through a publicist.
So the only way you will get repeat interviews on a show or in a newspaper or magazine that your publicist lined up an interview is to keep working with that publicist and keep spending $3000 to $20,000 a month.
Maybe that can be part of the arrangement you work out with a publicist you hire – that you pay a monthly fee but you get the contact information, but I doubt they will go for it.
Work with me to learn how to get media interviews.
One of the things I do with the clients I work with one-on-one is that you and I decide if a publicist is right for you and for promoting your business. If it is, we look into what type of publicist might be best. If it isn’t for you, we work together to find the right media outlets for you, identify media people who could use an expert like you, pitch those media contacts, and then prepare for that interview so you can attract potential patients, clients and customers and so those media people ask you back again and again.
Now please remember, that just like my website, my coaching and everywhere else, that I am not giving business, financial, legal, medical or any other kind of advice here. Talk to a professional for advice specific to your situation.
If you want to learn more…if you want more customers, more clients, more patients, you want to make more money, you want to be recognized as THE expert in your industry, or you even want people you don’t even know to come up to you at the gym or in the grocery store, thanking you for helping them, I can help you become a Media PRO.
Sign up for a FREE 30-minute media strategy session with me. We will see where you are and what you’re trying to achieve in your business, and then plan some strategies for you to get more media interviews and appearances to achieve all those goals and far more.
While you’re here, pick up my FREE eBook – The Media PROS Interview Checklist, offering you a handy reference full of tips to shine in your next media interview or appearance so they keep asking you back, over and over.