Parlay Communications is delighted to feature guest blogger Andy Donovan, President of Donovan Group, Inc.
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about the importance of small businesses having a good public relations strategy. In the two plus years since writing the post, I have had many discussions with small business owners and it always amazes me what I hear.
When it comes to their communications strategy, some feel hiring an outside “partner” is akin to looking in the Yellow Pages for a good handy-man (woman). For instance, in speaking with one prospect after discussing where they’ve been, where they are and where they would like to go in terms of external communications, the response on hiring a communications firm brought this response, “We’re not bringing in suppliers to tell us what to do – we’ll tell them and then they better make it happen.”
Fair enough, I guess, if you are simply overworked and looking for a virtual assistant – a communications professional, however, is something completely different. How so, you may ask? I have often said, whether it’s me or a member of my virtual team, we are here to advise on what you “need” to hear, and in some cases, this may not necessarily be what you “want” to hear. This is to ensure you know the inherent risks and rewards alike before taking your message to an external audience and to ensure all business and communications objectives are achieved.
What small business owners need to keep in mind long before they contemplate penning their first news release are the following when hiring your communications partner:
- Ensure they are experienced;
- Ensure they have a proven track record; and most of all,
- Ensure that they have the internal fortitude to not “rubber stamp” every idea you have
By failing to do so, you not only ensure that your expectations may never be met, but you may find yourself dusting off your resume instead of celebrating years of small business success.
Andy Donovan, founder and president of Donovan Group Inc., is a logistical and planning specialist, providing a wealth of experience in media services, promotion, marketing, audio-visual production and distribution as well as event and corporate strategic planning and implementation strategies. With a communications career that spans more than a decade – Andy is a husband and father of two year old triplets living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.