I want to tell you a tale of sadness and woe. This story is about LogMyCalls firing our PR firm.
In December 2011, LogMyCalls entered Beta. Our goal was to ramp up the coverage we received during the Beta period in preparation for our hard launch in May 2012. We evaluated several PR firms to help us with this task. After a few weeks of checking recommendations, digging through proposals and gathering data, we made a decision. We settled on a PR firm that is well-respected and fairly well-known. They assured us that even though we were hardly their largest account, they would still work hard. We were excited about working with them and so we signed the contract.
5 months later we fired them because they failed.
In 5 months they generated zero placements and few analyst reviews. They were terrible. To spare their reputation I won't reveal their name.
Why Did We Decide to Fire Them?
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months without results. They just simply weren’t producing anything useful. No placements. No buzz. Nothing. We had recalibration meetings with them. We had frank, and honest discussions with them about how upset and frustrated we were. But still, nothing changed.
We were getting progressively more fed up
Then, one day a member of our marketing team decided to take matters into his own hands. He started calling editors of major marketing publications and blogs. He asked them if we could produce guest content for them, if he could write articles about LogMyCalls, and if they would be interesting in reviewing LogMyCalls.
He called 4 that first day. They all said yes.
These were editors and publications that were on our PR firm's list. Our PR either hadn't contacted them or hadn't pitched well.
This was the straw that broke the camel's back. We realized that it was silly to continue to pay a PR firm when we could--evidently--do the job better. So we fired them. (The ‘break up’ wasn't pretty, BTW).
Firing them was the best thing we ever did.
Since we fired them we've had an average of 4 hard placements a week. That's almost one a day. We write guest blogs. We send out press releases. We newsjack. We do everything and anything we can to generate publicity and buzz. And so far, it is working. We've had investors contact us, clients reach out, leads generate and deals close, all because of our new internal PR strategy.
To see some of our placements visit LogMyCalls.com/in-the-news
We Should Have Fired Them Sooner
Every week during our meetings the PR firm kept saying that they were 'right on the edge' of getting a bunch of placements. 'Next week is the week,' they kept saying. This continued for months. Next week never was 'the week.' Instead of getting placements we just wasted a bunch of money and a bunch of time. Fortunately, we fired them and things got back on the right track.
Are PR Firms Bad?
No, of course not. But this one was. They were terrible (terrible is a kind word).
When we talk about our experience with this PR firm that shall remain nameless, we refer to it as our 'PR firm debacle.' Debacle is a kind word. There are other words that describe our experience more accurately but should not appear on a reputable blog like this one.
PR firms aren't bad. However, you have to seriously consider whether or not you have someone internally who can do a better job.