I know, I know we all want our businesses and brands featured in top media and publications. After all, when done correctly, a strategic public relations and communication plan can increase brand awareness and boost your business’ credibility.

But how do you know when your business or brand is ready to take the next step? Below are the five things you should ask yourself before hiring a marketing or communications consultant to help pitch media about your brand — especially if you’re a beauty or lifestyle brand.

When prospecting for new clients, I typically analyze these top five things before determining whether a client is a good fit for my consultancy.

Do I have a new service or product I want to promote?

Journalists are more likely to write about your product or service when it is “newsworthy.” This means that your business, story, or angle should be both interesting and relevant enough to publish to a broader audience. Analyze whether your business is properly set up and that an announcement is timely, prominent, or even sparks human interest before thinking about pitching to any publication.

Do I have high quality images for media usage?

Having high quality images of yourself (head shots) and your products increases your chances of landing coverage. Media is a highly visual landscape. In my experience, many publications require high quality visuals to go to market with. If you do not have high quality images for your brand, investing in a reputable photographer before media outreach will save much time and increase your chances of landing an opportunity.

Do I have a clear and compelling narrative? Am I open to have assistance crafting one?

This ties back into my first point about “newsworthy” stories. It is important to develop a story or message that is clear and compelling before reaching out to media. Unsure how to craft the perfect hook or narrative? Recruiting a marketing and communications professional to help you develop your story is a great next step.

Do I have both time and patience to grow my company’s visibility and build credibility?

While many would like to believe media coverage is quick and easy; the truth is, these things take time. Developing an effective media kit and building long-lasting relationships do not happen overnight. If you have the time and patience needed to grow your brands visibility and credibility, you are in a great position to hire a professional.

Am I ready to invest to grow my business?

Hiring an experienced marketing and communication specialist is an investment. If you’re serious and ready to build your brand’s recognition, become/stay relevant and enhance your brand reputation effectively, working with an established consultant or organization with proven results is worth the investment.

Original post: Allyssa Munro