Hiring a PR consultant can be a great thing for your business, your organization, and even your personal brand. But it’s important to do your due diligence when you hire a public relations consultant–you must pick one that is skilled, experienced, ethical, and has a track record of success.

Last week, we talked about several pitfalls to avoid in How (Not) to Hire a Public Relations Consultant – Part 1. This week, we finish up our two-part post on mistakes to avoid when you hire a freelance PR expert to help you generate media coverage, web traffic and brand awareness.

5. Don’t hire a publicist who thinks SEO is just for technology companies.

Who uses the phone book anymore? Most consumers and businesses start their buying process online, with Google, Yahoo or Bing. If your freelance PR consultant doesn’t understand search engine optimization, you’re simply leaving money on the table. When you hire a publicist, make sure she speaks SEO.

6. Don’t outsource your media relations to a third-world vendor who doesn’t actually speak English.

Public relations is about communicating your message to journalists and editors, so they can communicate your message to your potential clients or customers. If your customers speak English, your freelance PR consultant must be fluent in English to get best results.

7. Don’t hire a public relations consultant who claims their “personal relationships” will guarantee media coverage.

There are no guarantees in public relations. When you buy ad space in a newspaper, or airtime on the radio, your advertising is guaranteed to run. But it may be impossible for your press release to get noticed on a day when there’s some other big breaking story. A good freelance PR consultant can help you find ways to take advantage of trending news stories to promote your product, brand (or yourself.)


Public Relations consultant Kathleen Hanover has been attracting media coverage with high-impact press releases and public relations campaigns for nearly 27 years. Her public relations work has earned coverage in local, regional, national and international newspapers, magazines, on television, radio, and online, including placements in top-tier publications including Popular Science, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Times, Associated Press, and many, many more.

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