The perfect guide for when you know your business is ready for PR but need to get the boss on board. Find out how to sell the dream, crunch the numbers and get your boss on the PR train!
Whether you’ve read our blog post or there’s just a feeling in your bones, there comes a time in every business’ life where they need to get serious about PR. As an employee, there’s a chance you’re aware of this before your boss is because you’re on the frontline; you can see that more time should be devoted to contacting media, connecting with your audience and running campaigns that will help grow the business. You know this is the right thing to do, but how do you go about selling the idea to your boss?
You’ve scheduled the meeting, picked out your pitch-perfect outfit and ordered the obligatory business-meeting snacks but you’re still at a loss for just what you’ll say. Well fear not! We’ve got you covered with our top 4 tips for selling PR; from how to approach your pitch, what to say and how you can leave them wanting more!
KNOW YOUR PRODUCT
Most people think of PR as strictly media relations. We like to imagine offices of people that dash off to coffees with fashion editors, spend mornings sending off media kits and afternoons organising the latest samples that have dropped in. But in reality, PR officers are not all one and the same. There are multiple strands to PR and every business will require each of these in different measure. Before you pitch “PR” to your boss, it’s important to understand exactly what kind of PR you’re advising them to sign up for. Identify the specific weaknesses or areas for growth in your business and match these to the type of PR that fits.
Once you know what your PR needs are, it’s time to find the people who can satisfy them. Do some research into inhouse vs agency PR and think about which of the two will deliver the best results for your business. If you think an inhouse team is the best way forward, think about how many people you’ll need and any resources they’ll need to perform. Otherwise, give your boss the names of agencies that are a great fit for the business. Take into consideration things like agency size, experience, specialities and price points before making your recommendations.
THINK LIKE A BOSS
As an employee, you’re looking at a PR puzzle from your own perspective. While you and your boss have the business’ best interests at heart, chances are you’re going about it in a completely different way. Your boss is the one who has to balance the books, answering to boards, shareholders or their own bank account if the move goes belly-up. If you want your pitch to go down a treat, approach it with the mindset of a boss. Think of it as your business, what are your primary concerns, what matters the most to you and how does PR fit into that spectrum. Think about the business’ key goals, aims and objectives and explain how PR will help these become a reality.
If you’re framing your pitch to appeal to a business-savvy boss, it’s important to have the stats to back your argument up. Get ready to crunch some serious numbers and show your boss how PR will affect their bottom line. How will it affect turnover and profit margins? What is the return on investment and how much time will it take to see results?
HOT TIP: Find out if any of your competitors have jumped on the PR train yet. If your direct competition is embracing specialist PR, chances are your boss is going to want to jump on the bandwagon. If not, chances are they’ll be losing coverage, influencers and buyers to their competition!
Like any big sell, you’re not getting people to buy a product, you’re getting them to buy a dream. PR is so much more than just media relations and community engagement and your pitch should mirror this. Think about how bored you get in sales meetings and lectures, save your boss from snoozing off and deliver a pitch that invites excitement. Think outside the box of sales, CTR’s and SEO and begin the reach for the stars. Pitch ideas that just wouldn’t be possible without a specialised PR approach, selling your boss on the coverage you could land, the parties you could plan, the campaigns you could run and all the crazy and unexpected ways in which the business could simply take off.
SEAL THE DEAL (WTH A BUSINESS CASE)
As important as PR might be to you, chances are that your boss has a million other things on their mind. While you’ll have their attention in your meeting, we can’t promise they won’t be distracted as soon as it ends. Keep your pitch front of mind and put together a business case that your boss can take with them. We’d recommend giving it to your boss before you start your pitch, this gives them something to follow during the meeting and works to prompt their memory long after the meeting has drawn to a close.
A business case is a comprehensive report of the why, what, how and who of any business idea. It should be detailed and easy to follow, with a complete review of the benefits, risks and costings of the idea you’re proposing. You need to be clear about what problem your idea will solve and how it will go about solving it – supporting your claims with evidence every step of the way.
You can find a detailed guide of how to write a business case here.
Does your boss need a little extra persuading? Give them our guide on why PR is so important or get them ready for their PR future by learning how to have a great brand/PR relationship!
Image credit: Canyon by Chantal Anderson; know your product via Pinterest; think like a boss – Abbey Lee Kershaw for Vogue 2015 by Will Davidson; get inspired – L’Official Italia 2014 by Francesco Van Straten; seal the deal by Czlowiek Kamera.