From daily5remodel: The Inside Scoop: PR for Remodeling Companies

Posted on March 4, 2011 by Nora DePalmaOne Comment

Thank you to industry journalist Leah Thayer for allowing O’Reilly/DePalma to reprint this daily5remodel premium content interview between Leah and O’Reilly/DePalma principal Nora DePalma.

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d5R: When to outsource PR and when to handle it in-house?

NDP: One of most misleading terms in business is “free publicity.” There is a time commitment to garner media attention and a skill set required in knowing how the media tells a story. In many cases, a remodeler will be well served with outside counsel, dedicating a set number of hours each month to achieve measurable goals within the budget.

Remodelers who are natural-born salespeople, power networkers and fun storytellers, however, might do quite well handling PR in-house, along with support from a team member who can help identify places and opportunities to connect.

d5R: What “deliverables” and performance metrics should you expect from your PR team?

NDP: The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) advises success metrics that are relevant, realistic, specific, measureable and timely. You want PR counsel committing to results, not just deliverables.  View examples of success metrics for remodeling firms by downloading the complete article here.

d5R: What should a remodeler expect to pay for good PR counsel? Is a retainer necessary? How long of a contract should you sign?

NDP: The PR field has its share of dog-and-truck contractors. You know the drill about proposals that sound too good to be true.

The investment compensates the practitioner’s time to follow your target media outlets and identify new opportunities. We look at the upcoming publishing schedules and try to anticipate ways our clients can help reporters and editors. We email them. We meet with them. Of late, we Tweet with them.

That time can be accounted for in either a flat monthly retainer or an hourly rate. A retainer can be easier for cash flow forecasting, but you can achieve the same idea by setting a monthly limit on hours.    The contract should allow you to stop or slow down with no more than 30 days notice. Never sign a contract that holds you hostage for six months or more.  Examples of hourly rates provided here.

Download the complete interview with daily5remodel here.

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One Comment

  • Leah Thayer

    March 9, 2011 — 5:42 pm

    Great advice, Nora. Remodeling and other construction-related businesses really appreciate your candidness. Thanks for contributing to daily5Remodel!

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