Interested in building and maintaining a brand? Public perception is key. If you’re looking for a contractor who can help you strategically position your brand in the public eye, a public relations specialist can help.
So how do you hire public relations strategists? In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of finding top public relations specialists on Upwork.
What is a public relations strategist?
Public relations (PR) is about cultivating the public image of a brand. From writing press releases to building relationships with media outlets and running damage control in the wake of crisis communications, PR pros help businesses maintain a positive public image.
Here’s a quick overview of the skills a PR specialist might have:
- PR collateral (e.g., press page, quarterly updates)
- Writing blog content, press releases, and social media updates
- Media relations
- Marketing and branding
- Public speaking and persuasive writing
Examples of what a PR strategist can do for you
PR specialists help businesses position themselves across multiple marketing channels to attract the attention of journalists and media outlets looking for a story.
Here are a few examples of projects that PR specialists can complete:
- Pitch executive thought leadership bylines to media publications
- Write press releases to cover company milestones to keep the public and shareholders informed
- Handle all the logistics involved in notifying the press about upcoming product announcements
Identify your PR strategy needs
The trick to finding top PR specialists is to get specific about your needs. Are you looking for someone with a solid network of guest bloggers, influencers, and/or journalists in your industry? Will public speaking at events or in front of the press be a requirement? Asking yourself questions like these can help you scope and budget your project.
How to write an effective PR strategy job post
With your PR strategy needs in mind, it’s time to write that job post. Put yourself in the shoes of a PR strategist and try to imagine what they’ll type into the search box on Upwork to find your job.
Every job post should include:
- Project scope: Be specific about the types of tasks and deliverables (e.g. press releases).
- Background: List specific tech skills and requirements (e.g. experience using BlogDash to collaborate with established bloggers).
- Timeline: When do you need a PR professional, and for how long will you need them?
- Budget: Set a budget and note your preference for hourly rates vs. fixed-price contracts.
Although you don’t need a full job description as you would with employment, you still want to be specific and detailed enough in your job post so that prospective contractor knows what your project entails.
Shortlist potential PR strategists
With your project posted and a growing inbox full of proposals, here are some tips for shortlisting talented PR strategy contractors:
- Technology fit. PR strategists should be familiar with the technologies behind your products and services.
- Professionalism. Remember that a PR specialist will be the face of your business and may have to speak directly to the public on your behalf.
- Feedback. Reviews can reveal what it’s like to work with a particular PR strategist.
Prepare for the interview
Once you’ve narrowed your list of candidates, you’re ready to conduct the interview which will lead you to your ideal PR strategist. Here are some sample PR interview questions:
- “Tell us about a time you had to relay bad news to the public. How did you handle it?” This question gives the candidate an opportunity to share their process for defusing a tense situation.
- “Tell us about a successful PR campaign. How did you measure its success?” Look for solid industry-specific media contacts, experience with your preferred marketing channels, and a firm grasp of the KPIs that matter most to your business.
- “How would you handle [insert PR scenario here]?” Product recalls, software bugs, and social media fumbles—try to think of a scenario that will give the PR pro a chance to show you their skills.
If you’re still not sure at the end of the interview process which candidate is right for you, feel free to use a small paid test project to try out a contractor. Ready to drum up publicity and seize control of your brand? Hire a PR strategist on Upwork today!