I want to tell you a story. This story is about LogMyCalls‘ PR efforts.
In December 2011, LogMyCalls entered Beta. At around the same time (a couple of weeks prior, actually) LogMyCalls hired a PR firm to help generate publicity and buzz. Our goal was to ramp up the coverage we received during the Beta period in preparation for our hard launch in May 2012. The PR firm we hired came highly recommended. They assured us their strategy was centered around hard metrics, data and results. We were excited about working with them and so we signed the contract.
5 months later we fired them rather unceremoniously.
Why? Because they weren’t doing anything. In 5 months they generated zero placements and few analyst reviews. They were terrible. To save their reputation I won’t reveal their name.
Why Did We Decide to Fire Them?
We were getting progressively more fed up as weeks without results turned into months without results. Nothing was happening.
Then one day a member of our marketing team decided to take matters into his own hands. He just started calling editors of major marketing publications and blogs. He asked them if we could produce guest content about marketing topics for them, if he could write articles about LogMyCalls and if they would be interesting in reviewing LogMyCalls.
He called 4 that first day. They all said yes.
These were editors and publications that were on our PR firm’s list. Our PR either hadn’t contacted them or hadn’t pitched well.
This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We realized that it was silly to continue to pay a PR firm when we could–evidently–do the job better. So we fired them. (That wasn’t pretty, BTW).
Firing them was the best thing we ever did.
Since we fired them we’ve had an average of 4 hard placements a week. That’s almost one a day. We write guest blogs. We send out press releases. We newsjack. We do everything and anything we can to generate publicity and buzz. 4 placements a week that mention LogMyCalls. (We’re not counting press release republications and article sharing sites, of course). And so far, it is working. We’ve had investors contact us, clients reach out, leads generate and deals close, all because of our new and internal PR strategy.
To see some of our placements visit LogMyCalls.com/in-the-news
Why didn’t we fire them sooner?
This is a question we ask ourselves everyday. The answer is simple: they kept saying that we were ‘right on the edge’ of getting a bunch of placements. ‘Next week is the week,’ they kept saying. This continued for months. Next week never was the week. Instead of getting placements we just wasted money.
When we talk about our experience with this PR firm that shall remain nameless, we refer to it as our ‘PR firm debacle.’ Debacle is a kind word. There are other words that describe our experience more accurately but should not appear on a reputable business blog like this one.
PR firms aren’t bad. They, generally, do a great job. However, you have to seriously consider whether or not you have someone internally who can do a better job. We did, so eventually we fired our PR firm. We dropped them like a bag of rocks.