Author: Bonnie Harris

I hear those who commented on last week's post on reasons NOT to do your own PR - it CAN be really expensive to hire a PR person.   If you're not living in NYC or LA (or even if you are) you'll find there are some really affordable agencies and freelancers that could make all the difference for your business. Before you pooh pooh the idea of hiring a PR professional, let's look at what your costs might be.

Sometimes what a publicist or PR agency does looks SO easy, especially to an entrepreneur with a naturally outgoing nature. After all, how hard can it be to write and send press releases, or schedule interviews? In many cases, it's not that hard. I've known several business owners and managers who are very good at maintaining relationships with smaller market journalists, and who know when and how to write a press release.  If you believe PR is just sending out press releases and coordinating interviews go for it. BUT - and this is a very big BUT - if you really want to use public relations for the right reasons, I believe you have to hire a professional publicist.  And by professional, I mean GOOD. I wrote about ways to find a good PR firm in February. I'm going to write next on how to create room in your marketing budget to hire one. But first, here are six reasons it might be smart to hire a public relations professional:

The topic of plagiarism has crossed my path on a few different occasions recently, and it’s come to my attention that people just seem to think there are different rules when it comes to the Internet. While we all learned how to appropriately source references in public school (in the days before the internet), some have thrown those guidelines out the window. That may be because there’s LOTS of plagiarism on the internet already that makes it appear that content theft is normal; it’s not at all uncommon to see the same content posted in 8 different places without a link or credit to the original writer. I know we covered protecting yourself from how to Stick to the Facts to Avoid Content Plagiarism, but with so much discussion and confusion on the subject, let’s go back to the basics. You want to protect yourself from a lawsuit, and you don’t want to hurt your SEO rankings with too much duplication after all. Guidelines to Avoid Online Plagiarism

A couple years ago I started to notice that certain writers and producers were much more comfortable engaging with me on Twitter than on the phone or via email. I'm still not sure why this is...perhaps they noticed my sarcastic sense of humor (which appears to be a requirement for a true journalist these days) or maybe they feel protected by 140 characters. (Face it, we PR's do tend to go on and on...and on sometimes.) Whatever the reason, we've been using Twitter as an effective pitching tool for the past year now. Despite the "real time" aspect to the tool, I'm warning you it's not necessarily a fast method. However, if you invest some time you may find some huge payoffs down the road. Here are some simple steps to engaging media via Twitter.