Reader Q&A: PR Results: How much time & money does it take?

A reader writes . . .

“How much money, lead time, etc is needed to get what kind of “result” – an elusive keyword for PR?


Define Result: What does success mean to you?

Where do you want your story to land? Who do you want to write it? Who do you want to see it?

Twitter updates offer free and immediate PR, but be careful to only promote what you think is valuable. You can send out a test update to see what kind of response you get. Or, you can DM a few influential friends with a link to what you want to publicize for their opinion.

Facebook groups work well to promote events and build community.

Press releases are easy to write and distribute yourself. But, if you’re not sure about how to best position your news, consult a professional for advice. Many offer press release editing services. After you write the release, you’ll need to distribute it. Direct contact with reporters is usually the best way to get a story placed, but requires some time and effort to build a relationship. Online distribution automates the process and gets your story out to a broader, less personalized base.

Keep in mind that one of your goals is to get good positioning for your selected keywords.

YouTube videos may be referenced in your release – why not have people watch the story instead of read it? Engaging an agency is an ideal option for those that want a confident, creative and professional approach. Both our clients and the reporters who cover our stories appreciate having a media relations liaison. Because we manage our clients’ creative archives, chances are good that we’ll have everything the reporters need to tell their story.

I can hear you saying: “Hey, you’re avoiding the money answer.” Why yes, yes I am. That’s because this is all so variable that it’s hard to nail down real numbers. What I will say is this: plan on a PR strategy that matches your budget and get your news out on as many levels as you can – the more channels you use, the better your success.


Lead Time* 
twitterminimal$0none-1 weeknumber of retweets & links to site
Facebook Groupset up page$01-3 weeks# members, activity
DIY online press release2-3 hours to write$0-$300 and up to distribute2-3 weeks# site visits, stories placed, blog/site pick up
Agency online press releasesvaries by level of content and media attachments?4-6 weeks# site visits, stories placed, blog/site pick up
DIY YouTube videoas long as it takes to get it right$0sync w/release#viewers, comments, #embeds
at least an hour/minute$varies by production valuesync
#viewers, comments, #embeds
DIY Blog Postsup to you$01-2 weeks#views, comments
DIY Traditional PR2-3 hours to write + # hours to distribute$03-4 weeksstories placed, radio/TV appearances
Agency Traditional PRvaries by number of interviews and distribution pointsmany agencies charge a monthly retainer4-6 weeksstories placed, radio/TV appearances

* lead time applies to an event or announcement

Your Turn

What works best for you when you promote something? How do know when you’ve got results?

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