How to Set Up a Public Relations Company

Public relations professionals develop and maintain clients’ relationships with the general public and with media organizations. Public relations clients include hospitals, nonprofit groups and businesses. Clients often utilize public relations experts to explain the company’s position on a controversial issue, act as a liaison between the company and its investors, and communicate new facility plans to local media. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that public relations professionals will enjoy 24 percent employment growth from 2008 to 2018. Consultants with international or social media experience face especially good prospects.

Step 1

Structure your public relations company. Select a business structure with a certified public accountant familiar with service businesses. Sole proprietorship, limited liability companies and sub-chapter corporations are examples of business structures. Meet with a commercial insurance agent regarding liability insurance. Visit your city or county clerk’s office for a business license. Contact your state department of revenue about your need for a sales tax license.

Step 2

Lease a small, convenient business office. Find an office that is easily reached from main roads, and features a conference room for private client meetings. Consider a shared-space arrangement in which you maintain a private office, and share a conference room and kitchen facilities. Ensure that your office features high-speed Internet access for efficient client and media communications.

Step 3

List your public relations competitors. Public relations firms utilize electronic communications to work with clients across the street or across the country. Some public relations firms maintain expertise in one field, and work only with clients in that business. Other firms employ staff with varied skill sets to service diverse clients. Identify other public relations firms in your city, and list types of clients handled by each firm.

Step 4

Document companies with public relations opportunities. Browse regional newspapers, and consult with your city’s Chamber of Commerce, to obtain news about companies with public relations challenges or opportunities. The company may be preparing to shift some operations overseas, opening up a new market or attempting to recover from a recent scandal. Identify challenges faced by each company or institution, and analyze the firm’s public relations or damage control efforts to date.

Step 5

Develop targeted public relations proposals. Evaluate your information about companies with public relations challenges. Research the company’s business philosophy, operating environment and overall profitability track record. Develop a targeted public relations strategy that utilizes media appropriate for that company’s audience, recommends “Forbes” magazine. Present a proposal summary, along with benefits of using your service, to each prospect.

Step 6

Cultivate a social media presence. Work with a social media expert to create your company’s presence on major social media websites. Regularly showcase your successful client partnerships, and provide links to your company website. Encourage clients and prospects to maintain an ongoing dialogue with your staff, recommends the Public Relations Society of America.

Step 7

Add public relations professionals. Hire public relations-savvy employees, or recruit qualified independent contractors, to assist you with your public relations work. Place help wanted ads for part-time or on-call personnel to perform research and support functions. Contact local colleges with journalism or marketing programs, and ask department chairs about student work/study opportunities.

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Comments

  1. This article is very informational. I was in great need of this article because I am starting a new small pr firm and need details on where to start. There are few people you can contact that will actually help so doing research is the only options many have.

    Thanks for not being selfish and sharing such a great article.

    J. Strickland Management, LLC

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