faqsI have an event coming up. When do I need to hire you?

It is recommended that you contact us at least three months prior to your event for maximum exposure. That means you’ll need to talk to us six or seven months prior to your event so we can give you our fees and recommended publicity timeline. We need to prepare and produce the materials long in advance.

How often should we send out a press release?

It is always best to submit a press release as often as you have news. Our media contacts will take your press releases more seriously if we are careful about sending them only when you have news. We do however recommend "Journalist Stories" on you and your company on a fixed schedule to keep you in the limelight.

How is PR different than advertising? Which works better?

PR and advertising reach audiences in different ways yet neither works better than the other. As consumers, we know that a paid advertisement is a company talking about itself. A good ad can be very successful. PR is other people – highly influential people – talking about your company. Whether it’s a review of a new product or service, a company profile, an event, a sponsorship or a trade story, the third person credibility produced by public relations carries much more weight than an ad.

Advertising enjoys one significant advantage: every element of the message is controlled by the company that creates and pays for it. PR trades that control for credibility. Your ads and PR efforts should reinforce the same strategies, so potential consumers are getting the same message from several sources. PR can achieve editorial exposure in more publications than would be affordable for advertising. A well-organized strategic public relations campaign should be one of the most cost-effective expenditures within a marketing program.

What other services does The Talent Connection USA offer besides PR?

Primarily our focus is on PR, which is our strength. We also help with marketing, particularly in writing copy so that your marketing communications speaks easily to the audience you are writing for. If you need graphic designers, printers, web designers, advertising firms, mail houses and other services to complete your projects, we are happy to refer you to qualified companies that can complete your projects.

Can you get us on national talk show such as Good Morning America?

Sure, if your product or service warrants it. A placement like that should never be the focus of a PR campaign, though. While we’re looking for your Good Morning America hit, we’ll be taking care of business in the trade media that influences your dealers, the vertical media that your core customers are engaged in, and a whole lot more mainstream targets than just one national talk show.

Doesn’t a company’s editorial coverage depend on how much they advertise?

In reputable media, there should be no correlation between the amount of advertising you do and the amount of editorial coverage you receive. Good reporting is about finding a great story to write about as the news happens. FYI: if an advertising sales rep ever makes a promise about editorial coverage, cross them off your list. That is not where you want to be.

So you write the story and the media prints it?

No, never. Good PR provides intelligent material to the media, in time for them to work with it before deadline. The media writes the stories.

How can an Florida-based firm reach national media?

The same way as a firm in any city: phone, office visits, email, trade shows, events and overnight courier. In the eyes of the media, the credibility that comes with living in the area is very helpful to us. We pride ourselves on our presentation, our timing and materials, and the ability to go from an in-depth product discussion with a vertical media editor to a more general “trends” discussion with a mainstream writer. The key ability is knowing their viewer/reader and being able to tailor the appeal of the client’s product accordingly.

How does The Talent Connection USA bill?

We charge our clients a monthly retainer fee, due at the beginning of each month, and pass on expenses without a commission. Monthly fees make budget forecasting much easier than an hourly fee. You’ll know what we’re doing to earn the fee, because we report to you on a regular basis. Generally we add in our agreement that up to 10% of the monthly retainer fee is approximated for expenses. Prior to any significant expenses, like major printing jobs, mailings, etc., we will get your approval beforehand.

How much do your services cost?

It depends on the level of PR activity your company requires. If you introduce a lot of new products in a typical year, or you’re introducing a brand new product or service, we’ll work with you to figure out the scope of activity that makes the most sense. We’re willing to work within a budget that you are comfortable with.

What you pay for in public relations is time and talent. Time is actual hours spent on your account; talent is the quality of the time spent. Public relations fees are usually set as a monthly retainer, with a minimum number of months—usually 12 months depending on the scope of the PR project.

Fees range from $3,000 - $10,000 per month, $20,000 per month for large corporations, but again it depends on the PR needs of the company.

Wouldn’t it be better to hire a well-known agency in the city?

No. Many times a large PR firm in the city can only afford to have very junior staff work on the account. A smaller independent firm will usually offer more senior staff.

How should I measure PR results?

Goals are set at the beginning of your public relations campaign. As your publicity campaign progresses, goals are reassessed and often changed, and frequently expanded. They aren't necessarily written in stone, but rather used as measurement. In our experience, to really evaluate the impact of PR, you need two years of concerted effort. And remember, PR is something you should incorporate into your business in an ongoing way.

What is the normal term of a PR contract?

The standard term of a public relations contract is 12 months.

Who will work on my account at The Talent Connection USA?

We work very hard to match our staff professional with your needs in your industry. From time to time, we may have additional senior-level team members work on your account and we will notify you if that happens.

Can we try a test PR campaign for three months or so?

No. There are very few trial periods in PR, much less 3 months. It just is not enough time to learn all we need about your business, to develop and implement a viable strategy or to see results. Part of the problem is media lead times. Monthly magazines often have lead times of 5 to 7 months.

Radio, television, newspapers and trade media do have shorter lead times, but with all the low-cost content out in the market these days, the PR profession has just gotten harder and it can take longer to see results.

Do you have clients outside of the Florida area?

Yes, we do. Technology has made communication as easy as an in-office meeting.

How will we evaluate the success of our PR program?

Easy. Before we even begin representing you, we have discussed and agreed upon the initial strategy and target media. Between our regular reporting and clip file of your company’s media hits, we can keep a very accurate gauge of our progress.

What do we need to provide The Talent Connection USA with for effective PR?

When we’re getting started, we’ll need in-depth company information. After that point, we’ll be responsible for staying up to date with our timeline and keeping in touch with your staff, regarding new products and programs. We place a great deal of emphasis on representing our clients without requiring too much of their time. It’s best if we have one contact within your organization who has the ability to approve press materials.