I’ve always had a deep respect for Public Relations professionals, so I was delighted at the opportunity to connect with the co-founders of The PR Alliance, DMV-based Publicists Keisha Brewer and Mariah Oates.

Having met in college where they both studied Communications, the duo has been going strong since October 2016 when they got their first client. Less than a year later in April 2017, The PR Alliance officially launched to the public.

Since then, the smart and talented duo has quickly grown their client base, which has included Yvonne Orji of HBO’s “Insecure” and Dia Simms, President of Combs Enterprises.

Recently, I had the chance to talk to them about partnership, entrepreneurship and finding the right representation. Check out my key takeaways. 

A business can test your friendship

Starting a business with a friend can be risky. As a business owner, you’ll encounter stressful moments and long days/nights that can not only take a strain on your business, but also on your friendship. Luckily for Mariah and Keisha, they haven’t had many issues as business partners. They attest that their successful business partnership and sustained friendship are due to having great communication skills, complementing each other personally and professionally, and choosing to translate their needs into one another’s languages. 

PR is not a microwave strategy

Despite what you see on social media, being successful and reaching your goals takes time. The same concept should be applied when you hire PR.

“While we do have strategies in place, it’s trial and error. What works for one client, might not work for another and you need time to figure it out,” Mariah shared.

Also, hiring PR isn’t cheap either. Mariah and Keshia recommend that you should budget $1,000-$1,500/month at a minimum when considering hiring a PR team.

Confidence is key

“Every time you sit at the table, it’s a new table and you are adjusting. At the core, if you come to the table confident in your value, you’ll know how you need to respond, regardless of the situation,” Keisha shared.

Know the difference between marketing, sales, and public relations

Too many people think that marketing, sales, and public relations are the same. Marketing and sales are about gaining money/profits, and public relations is about gaining exposure.

Keep in mind, exposure doesn’t always lead to profit.

Your representation has to represent you

“From their communication style to the way they dress, this person will literally be out there shaking people’s hands & saying they represent you. Make sure you feel good about that,” Mariah told me.

Just like the saying, birds of a feather flock together – the same holds true for the people on your team. It’s important that you don’t rush the process of finding an ideal PR team, and don’t hire the first team that you talk to.

“Choose someone who is genuinely excited about your brand and that can see their role in the evolution of your brand,” Keisha shared.

As you can see, there is a lot to know before you hire a Public Relations person or team and I hope this piece helps you get closer to finding the right one for you. If you can find people who are as engaged and informed as Mariah and Keisha, you (and your PR) will be in good hands.

For more PR gems, check out this FREE resource below, courtesy of Mariah & Keshia!