Finding a needle in a haystack seems easier than trying to gain notice by entertainment honchos. One way to increase your chances for gaining notice is with the help of public relations agencies for entertainment. The public relations profession has grown over 220 percent in the last decade, according to Kathy Cripps, President of the Council of Public Relations Firms. But PR is more than sending press releases. Public relations professionals know how to make pitches about their product — you — to the people who count. Here are some key things you should know about hiring PR firms for the entertainment industry: 1. The entertainment industry involves many facets both behind the camera and in front of the camera. Know your strengths and where you would fit in best. 2. In no other industry is who you know as important as in the entertainment industry. Public relations agencies for entertainment should know the right people. 3. Determine your objectives and the audiences you want to reach. List desired outcome in measurable terms. Target your PR agency search Search through databases for public relations for the entertainment industry. PR agencies range from one-person operations to large corporations in a variety of locations. Begin weeding out candidates until you have four to five agencies. Look at company descriptions and activities to learn if they have the right expertise. All entertainment public relations agencies should have a website to provide you with additional information. Set up interviews and/or presentations Meet face-to-face with each of these PR firms for the entertainment industry. Choose whether to ask for a presentation from the agency or whether you prefer a more informal interview. Hold the initial meeting at the office so that you can get a sense of business operations, including how personnel interact with one another. Find out about agency experience, references and costs. Evaluate PR agencies and select Look at the objective qualities of each entertainment PR agency. Do they have the understanding and experience to help you with your objectives? Also consider subjective impressions of the agency; good chemistry makes a working relationship more enjoyable. Keep up with the latest entertainment news by reading the "trades" ("Variety" and "Hollywood Reporter," for example) and maintaining contacts. Who knows? Your hair stylist might tell you about a charity event involving several important people. Sharing news is a two-way process. Not only should a PR agency for the entertainment industry keep you apprised, but you should also alert the agency to new developments in your life. Public relations for the entertainment industry is not an exact science. Keep records of successful and failed strategies initiated by your PR agency.