Public Relations, or PR, are people who help others get noticed in the media. PR employees search out and work with newspapers, radio, television and a host of other media outlets. Their goal is to get their client the most valuable and beneficial exposure as possible. PR work is also one of the most cut-throat and highly competitive businesses to get into.
Before starting your own PR business you should be fully prepared with the knowledge of how PR works, how and where to get your clients, how to form a good relationship with the media and have the financial backing and education to succeed.
How to Start a Public Relations Company
Do Your Research
- It is imperative to understand how PR works, the types of media that your clients will want for exposure, and how to ‘control’ the media so that you can get your information published.
- Research the different media companies in and around your area, as well as nationally. Learn the types of stories they like to promote and the type of angles they seek out. Different media resources will have unique requirements dependent upon how their business works, so it is important to know which company will want the information you have for your clients.
- Study persons of interest to develop a client list. You may choose to only conduct PR work for bands or entertainment personnel, or you may wish to help struggling authors or businesses. You may even decide not to be too choosy who you represent. However, it is just as important to decide who you take on as clients as it is the way you represent them. Certain clients may be frowned upon and therefore give your company a less than respected reputation.
Prepare a Business Plan
- If you are planning on getting a loan or other financial backing to startup your business it is extremely important to put together a detailed business plan to show potential investors.
- Include your financial statements for at least the last five years such as bank statements, tax records and any documentation on assets and liabilities.
- Provide a five, ten and even fifteen year projection of profits and costs you expect. Also include a marketing strategy that details how you will obtain new clients.
- If you haven’t done so already, it would behoove you to take several writing classes. PR is expressed a lot by the written word, therefore your writing needs to be polished, creative and exciting. Take journalism classes to learn to write short, accurate and to the point articles. Take creative writing classes to learn how to write creative, flamboyant and interesting tales.
- There are several college courses you can take to get credits, or even a degree, in marketing and public relations. It would be best if you had an M.B.A., but it is important to at least take several related classes to prepare you for the PR world and what your clients will expect from you.