Martha Tiller knows public relations and marketing. For over 25 years, Tiller has successfully handled the public relations campaigns for elected public figures and corporate individuals to marketing campaigns for fashion and interior designers, retailers, hotels, restaurant and non-profits. Some of her nationally known clients include Neiman Marcus, JC Penney and the James Beard Foundation.

Tiller worked for a large firm and didn’t like the big overhead or the over-the-top expenses that went into pitching a potential client. Then once the client was secured, she saw entry level employees work on the client’s campaign.

“I wanted to keep things small and specialized so that the client got the most bang for their buck,” said Tiller, who opened her own boutique marketing and public relations firm. “We work with high-level executives and successful companies to give them the attention they need. I pull the resources that a client will need to make their marketing campaign successful. A client might need a certain ‘look,’ and I can pull the right photographer to do the shoot that will make the difference from a blah campaign to one that everybody talks about.”

When it comes to hiring a marketing and public relations firm, Tiller says that small businesses must look at the firms that have really strong contacts in the media world. “It is important that they deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time,” said Tiller who stresses that the message and timing is everything in business.

Tiller offers these expert tips to help small businesses when they look to hiring a public relations and marketing firm.

  • Creativity. You need to think outside of the box and be willing to try new things. You are an expert in your field. Trust that your public relations and marketing firm is an expert in their field. Be open to new ideas and opportunities that the firm will present to you.

  • Pro-activity. You have to be on the offensive, not the defensive.

  • Flexibility. You have to have a road map, but you have to be prepared to take a detour. If there is something that happens in the news that affects your client, you need to make sure to prepare your client for the unexpected. As a small business, you need to be available for your public relations firm to help you when emergencies happen in your business or in your industry.

  • Influence. In these highly competitive times, respective spheres of influence are extremely important. You can’t have too many contacts.

  • Quality over Quantity. Quality pitches to the right media are important. Constantly badgering media with a story about the client will be the fastest way to turn media outlets off from hearing the message about your business.


This article was written by Robin D. Everson for Small Business Pulse



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