Public relations

Recommendations on a PR firm for a consumer product targeting moms?

Inder Singh Founder & CEO at Kinsa

November 2nd, 2014

Any recommendations on a great PR firm?

Our product is a next generation consumer product, targeting parents: a smartphone-connected thermometer -- so its both hardware and software. We haven't had great experiences with PR firms in the past -- though those were small shops and we are looking to step up now to a bigger, higher quality firm. We are trying to push publicity during the winter months.

Also, what should we expect to pay to a high quality PR firm in terms of monthly retainer?

Bobbie Carlton Founder, Innovation Nights, Innovation Women & Carlton PR & Marketing

November 3rd, 2014

Hi Inder,
(Full disclosure -- my other business is a PR and Marketing firm.)  Not selling here, just trying to be helpful.  I find that many startups have poor experiences with their first firms because they aren't spending enough to actually accomplish anything.  I work with many startups who just can't afford the full service approach so I advise them to focus on the things that will truly make a difference. And, for most large agencies, they can't afford to service an account for less than $10K/month.

PR is a time game.  Most agencies, even the ones who serve up "all you can eat" PR (or a monthly one price retainer) are working on a billable hours model.  There's no way around it without a time machine. You just run out of time when the budget is small.  I tell the people who work for me, there's always another letter you can write, pitch you can make, phone call or DM to try to break through with a busy reporter.  Even the best, most perfect pitch can languish in an email box full of other awesome potential stories. I have reporters who assure me they read EVERY SINGLE PITCH I send them because I "give good story" who are too busy to do that story without me poking them a few times.  And that takes time.  Time I need to be compensated for somehow or I go out of business..

Success with a PR agency means you need to invest enough time with them as well -- make sure they understand your business.  (Not just your industry, your business.)  Your goals, Your motivation.  They need to understand "why" you did something a certain way.  PR does not happen in a vacuum.

PR is also dependent on "time from now."  Even in today's instant-on world, there are lead times and times when a story is perfect fit, and when it isn't.  Not going to place a story on shoveling snow in the heat of summer.  Although the opposite might be true. ;-)

Last thought: Make sure you meet the account team.  The people selling might not be the people doing.


Steven Mason Brand Strategist & Ideator; Patent Strategist; Patent Broker; Negotiation Expert

November 2nd, 2014


Most firms aren't strategic; they don't understand your business; they assign poor writers who don't understand branding; etc.  The problems you've encountered are very common.

Retainers can vary from $5K-$20K/mo or more. It all depends on what you actually need, on the intersection of social media with your conventional online/print presence; on whom you actually need to reach; and on launch programs (even spend/month is uncommon, because trade shows, major launches, etc. all have a major effect).  One thing you should know (and very well may): the conventional "pitches" and days of sending out press releases expecting the press to swarm like bees to honey are over. 

Small is not necessarily bad; bigger is not necessarily better.  It all depends on whom you actually work with, on who is running your accounting and strategically leading the charge (which includes day-to-day ops).  

There are other factors, too.  What's the clay they're working with? Do you have your brand strategy full developed? Do you expect them to develop it further?  There is no one right answer without knowing more about your situation and your particular goals. 

Drop me a line here or via LinkedIn and I'm happy to refer you to an agency that's actually first class, which I'd personally hire, and where I personally know the Founder/CEO.



November 2nd, 2014

Inder - The Firm PR & Marketing is a great firm. I've known the owner, Solveig Raftery, for years. She is one of the most respected in Las Vegas by both colleagues and journalists. You can check out their web site at As far as fees, I would estimate at least $5,000 per month. Be Well, Tami Belt Blue Cube Marketing Solutions 702-341-8859 "The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it." - William James

Eric Sullivan CEO at FoundationLab

November 3rd, 2014

We have one we work with in Boston here that is awesome. They really focus

Atique Waghani Marketing & Venture Development Consultant I Founder @Offeringo I Mentor I Special Lecturer

November 2nd, 2014


November 3rd, 2014

I would like to add a little insight into Public Relations. There is more to it than securing press coverage. It's about building relationships. To help businesses understand the importance and scope of PR, I put together a presentation and turned it into a blog. I hope this helps:

Don Daglow 3-Time Inc. 500 CEO, Technical Emmy® Award, International Speaker, Advisor at Founders Space accelerator

November 2nd, 2014

I'd talk to Perrin Kaplan at Zebra Partners -- and

Mark Goldman President & Chief Strategy Officer at Scout Marketing

November 3rd, 2014

Porter Novelli here in Atlanta (they are in other markets as well). Retainer will be based on your agreed statement of work. I would say that they will likely not be interested in a retainer that is less than $10000 a month. However, they do work on a project basis depending upon your needs. Mark Mark Goldman ~ 404.625.2321 ~

Cynthia Neiman Chief Marketing Officer at Ergobaby

November 3rd, 2014

Hi there--
I currently work for a company targeting Moms and I adore my PR firm.  Nicole Daley of Daley PR based in San Francisco.  Like you, I have had trouble finding a responsive, hands on PR firm that delivers results.  Nicole has been nothing short of amazing.  Ping me for her contact info.

Anthony Miller

November 3rd, 2014

Hi there! I used to work specifically in this PR space, before changing our agency model. I can certainly point you in the right direction.