Starting a PR Agency

How do you know if starting a PR agency is the right move for you? When your local civic group needs an event publicized, are you the one asked to write the press release? Does your current boss often ask you to organize promotional events even though it's not part of your job? Does the challenge of putting together a brilliant ad campaign get you excited? If you answered yes to these questions, then you could have a future in the world of public relations.

How do you go about starting a PR agency? The same way you do every other business. Start by writing your business plan.

What type of business do you want? PR agencies typically have two types of business. They can promote a particular project such as the launch of a new product or they may promote a special event such as a fundraiser or the opening of a store. Or they may be hired by a company to handle all of that client's public relations.

Are you going to start out part time until you get established? Or are you going to make this a full time business right from the start?

Who/where is your target market? Will you keep it local? Or are you willing to travel? If so, how far? To the next city? The next state? Internationally?

Where will you get the funding to start your business? A solo PR agency doesn't require a large investment, but you will need money for basic home office equipment, advertising, and travel if you plan to seek clients outside your local area.

Once you have your business plan ready, check out the legalities of starting a business in your area and obtain any licenses and/or certifications necessary.

Design your business cards, brochures and a professional website. Your brochures and website should give prospective clients an overview of the services you provide and an explanation of your fees.

You may want to gain some experience before branching out on your own by working with a local PR agency. If you are not completely sure what a public relations firm does, this may be a way to be sure it's the right business for you before stepping out on your own.

Do your own PR. Let others know what you are doing. Host a party to launch your company. Invite the press and potential clients. Network. Join trade associations and networking groups to meet potential clients. Host a seminar on the value of public relations.

It may take a few months to make a profit if you are starting out new, so be prepared for this. Make sure you have enough set aside to live on until you start earning money.

Starting a PR agency really doesn't take very much to get started. If you think this is the business for you, go ahead. Take the plunge. You won't regret it.

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