It’s customary for an Aviation PR Firm to work under a retainer agreement. There is nothing wrong with that, but some of the stories we have been hearing about aviation companies that have been surprised to find that the company they hired hasn’t been performing the services they were expecting.
When someone has a bad experience, it makes all PR and marketing firms look bad.
So, we thought we’d provide six questions you should ask BEFORE getting involved with an aviation PR firm, or at least at some point in the relationship.
Questions You Should Ask Your Aviation PR Firm:
- What experience do you have in the aviation industry?
- What is your process for getting to know our company, our priorities and our market?
- Can I see some examples of aviation content writing and press releases that have been published?
- What does your service include?
- Do I get to see/edit drafts before they are published?
- Who owns the final release copy?
We’ll talk in a bit of detail about why each of these questions is important.
What experience do you have with aviation content writing.
Experience in the industry is important if you want articles published in relevant industries, and for speaking credibly to consumers of aviation products and services.
Someone who is great a PR but unfamiliar with aviation concepts and language can be fairly obvious (and the subject of merciless comments!) from aviation industry insiders.
They can be merciless, and you may find that your release does more harm than good to your reputation.
What is your process for getting to know our company & market
A great PR firm will spend the time to get to know your company, your products and services, your competitors and the differences between similar products, and your place in the market.
Our process includes a detailed questionnaire and an hour-long conversation plus our independent research to ensure that we understand each client thoroughly before we do any writing.
Without this deep understanding, superficial articles can miss opportunities to be truly newsworthy, and produce articles that aviation industry publication editors can quickly “round file” or discard articles that are too shallow or not newsworthy enough.
Can I see some examples of releases you’ve produced?
An aviation PR firm should be able to provide an extensive list of releases they have produced.
Look for releases that are of the length, quality and general subject matter similar to what you’re looking for.
What does your service include?
Many “aviation PR firms” – service consists of simply re-creating material from the text on your website and publish to popular press release distribution services.
While the wire services are worth using, there are many outlets that rely on volume of material and will publish pretty much anything submitted in the format of a press release and guarantee distribution to a number of outlets for a small fee.
Anyone can submit a release using any of these services, usually for a fee of $100 or less:
- Business Wire
- PR Newswire
- Press Advantage
Since anyone can do this (and quite cheaply) the quality and reputation of press releases that editors receive from these services are classified accordingly.
It’s worth making the submission, just to extend the range and possibility of meeting a specific need of a specific publication and any given time, but there is no magic access that a PR firm has, other than its long-term relationships with specific journalists and publications.
In our experience, aviation industry publications rarely get their news this way.
They are more likely to respond to a release sent by a known and trusted source of quality of information and clean writing.
Do I get to see and/or edit a draft?
Journalists and PR consultants both write, and some PR consultants also have jobs as journalists, but they have very different roles in the news process.
Journalists have to keep an objective point of view, but a PR consultant is hired to represent you specifically.
Unlike when a journalist calls for an interview about a specific topic, a PR firm should have a solid, collaborative process that makes good use of your time, but ensures that you are completely comfortable with an article before it is published.
Need more help creating a Press Kit, or evaluating your need for one?