What It’s Like Having a PR Team
Something I had been considering for a long time (years really) was having a PR team. For those of you unfamiliar, PR stands for public relations. This is essentially a team that helps to get you in the media, and of course for the right reasons. Everyone wants good press, and most people don't want their dirty details and secrets leaked out. But what's media without a good story here and there, right?
I've had a lot of my personal friends and family ask me what the PR team has done for me, why I did a press trip in Los Angeles and really the question is, is it working? Because unlike a manager, a PR team is a separate expense. Since PR is not about collaborations and deals (directly at least) it is not like someone is taking 20% of my collaborations. Instead the PR team is an expense I have to pay.
So... is it worth it? Let's dive into the details.
During my last trip to LA, we had a pretty rigorous itinerary. Since you know it takes 2 hours to get from any one place in LA, to another, you know that my days were long and extremely tiring. Especially since I'm not used to that constant hustle and bustle (hence why I don't live in a bustling city anymore; I legit can't keep up.) I decided to drive in to LA on this trip, mainly because we finalized the dates for the trip a little last minute due to some events being rescheduled. After driving all day, I drove straight to Orange County for the first interview. You know I love a good podcast, so the first event was a podcast interview talking about being an influencer. I love talking with entrepreneurs and people in the business all about entrepreneurship. Take a peek at our itinerary:
Entrepreneur’s Playbook Podcast
4 – 5pm
Once I finished there, I had to drive all the way to Hollywood which in rush hour traffic is practically a whole planet away.
Buzz AXS In Studio
Good Morning LaLa Land interview
10:30am - noon
Meeting with agency
Lifestyle Magazine Interview
Dinner with Brand
LA Talk Radio In Studio
9:50 -10:30 AM
noon - 1:30 PM
Coffee with Brand
Surprising break in the day to see family, eat some food, catch up on emails.
Walk Red Carpet
Red Carpet Event
Morning Radio Live Show
Girls Inc Event
Team Late Lunch
In between each event, there was usually an hour or more of driving, getting ready, etc. It's definitely exhausting. The difference for me is that real events happen in Los Angeles and New York City, so when I am in those cities, I am doing 93743754 things because it's so important to be a part of as much as possible when you have the opportunity. No note-worthy events of that caliber ever really happen in Tucson, which is truthfully why I picked to live in Tucson. I want to have a comfortable, more quiet lifestyle in a city I love, given I don't want to live in such hustle and bustle year-round.
During this trip, I knew I needed to have my own place. A) to feel comfortable and B) to go in and out as I please. I partnered with Blueground to stay in one of their incredible apartments in Marina del Rey.
"Blueground is a NYC-based real estate tech company that wants to make people feel at home wherever they choose to live. The company offers beautifully furnished and thoughtfully equipped apartments for a month, a year, or even longer that are designed to help people simply show up and start living. Motivated by its mission to create a tech powered living experience that
guests love, homed in an organization where great people are proud to work, Blueground has grown quickly, surpassing 1,800 apartments and 300 team members in nine cities; New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Dubai, Istanbul and Athens.
Since I love seeing every city in its real light, I like staying in apartments. This always seems to work better in terms of having a more authentic experience in a new place. Sometimes hotels aren't the best at showing a city in its true colors. I loved staying in my apartment, and it was safe too since the apartment complex was gated, and you had to have a code to get into the building.
The neat thing about Blueground is that they plan to have a presence in 50 cities around the world and a portfolio of more than 50,000 apartments by 2023. That's a really hefty goal, but it shows that Blueground isn't going anywhere and you'll be better off booking a luxurious apartment for your next long-term vacation. Keep in mind they book stays only for 30 days to a year.
Since I was staying in Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of searching all the fully furnished apartment, which definitely made me feel like I was right at home. It was also really nice to explore Marina del Rey because every though I grew up in Redondo Beach, I never really ventured into Marina del Rey. It was nice to do a little exploring in a city near the one I grew up in.
Now that I've talked your ear off, I wanted to give you a pros and cons list in case you're considering hiring a PR team for your business. Whether you're an influencer, or in another field of work, I think it's more beneficial than you can even imagine.
The easiest way for me to communicate all my thoughts about the matter is to do a pros and cons list, because lists help me.
- Event Invites: You get the event invites straight to your inbox. Red carpet, product launch, magazine promotion. You name it, and your PR team will get an invite.
- Relationships: when you have a manager, they are mainly in it for the money and they usually don't care about building long-term relationships if the money isn't there from the beginning. With a PR team, they are always on and always happy to go the extra mile. Not to mention they make you look fabulous in their conversations with brands, editors and other contacts in the industry. In addition, because they usually manage their own PR agency, you are getting the introduction to all their contacts.
- Interviews: one of the main reasons I hired my PR team is because I wanted to do interviews, be on TV, and just do more real media. When you're not represented by anyone, it's hard for editors, writers and podcasters to know you want to be reached out to. Not to mention there's thousands of people in the space now, and it's all very noisy for the media. Having a PR team ensures you get on the front line for coverage.
- Teammate: Having a PR team is honestly like having a quarterback because they fight for you, get aggressive for you and book you on the opportunities you really want.
- Niches: While you yourself may have a one-track mind and think you only want to focus in a specific vertical, your PR team is thinking of how to make every encounter and every piece of work you do, a good opportunity with someone in another niche or tying it into a unique opportunity. I love that they're always thinking creativity and finding new ways to evolve the brand.
- Pitching: When it comes to hearing my PR team talk about me, it really does make a world of difference that they are the ones pitching me to be in a magazine, or on a podcast. There's something more powerful about someone else doing it for you, but also when you're in PR you know how to communicate with all kinds of people. It's natural for my PR team to pitch me constantly, whereas I get scared, nervous and shy in person occasionally, so it makes the heavy lifting a lot easier.
- Bad Press: When shit hits the fan one day, you have a team that knows you, knows what you've been going through and can help spin media in a positive way.
- Perspective: A PR team is a non-biased third party that can give you sound advice on whatever business matter you have coming up. They will let you know if it's a good opportunity or not.
- Expense: This is my biggest expense each month, and it definitely can get pricey depending on the type of coverage you need and what kind of involvement the team needs to have with your work day to day. A lot of people couldn't justify paying for PR, but it's so important for those planning to do work long-term in a specific field. If you're an actress and you want to do this long-term, you will have to have a PR team to get you on the top of necessary articles so the next producer sees you and asks you to come in for an audition.
As you can clearly see above, the odds are skewed to the pros. The only con is cost, so if all of these pros come with the price, then it makes sense to invest. PR historically is about nurturing your brand long-term. It's not a one and done kind of a deal. In order to stay relevant, you need to be in the media which as you know continues to expand. Whether it's podcasts, Instagram, YouTube, magazines... whatever the outlet, you do need a PR team fighting for you to get you exposure and coverage.
I'd love to know your thoughts on having a PR team, and if you'd ever hire a PR team for your business.