If your business or brand is ready to take the next step and hire a public relations agency, there are a few things you should first consider. When you work with a PR agency who will be managing and growing your reputation, it’s important to understand that this relationship will be more of a partnership than anything else. You will work closely with a PR firm to outline your goals, strategies, tactics and messaging. This requires significant time and transparency between both parties. In order to find and hire the best PR agency for your personality and business goals, we’ve outlined below essential things to analyze and consider in the hiring process:
- Research boutique PR agencies versus large firms – Depending on your budget and workflow preferences, a small agency may be the most feasible route for your business or brand. Small agencies offer more one-on-one attention and generally offer more competitive monthly retainers for their services. In addition, small agencies usually have the CEO manage your account and PR programs. And their expertise and experience is what will make your PR campaign a true success. Bigger PR firms may be pricier, but you will likely be working with a PR firm that has worked on global PR campaigns. After signing a contract, you may get handed off to a new account executive with entry-level experience… or you could get a PR pro who has decades of experience developing and successfully deploying PR programs that positively influence audiences and change attitudes towards a product, service, industry or public figure. It is a bit of a gamble with working with a larger PR agency that has hundreds or thousands of employees. On the other hand, a bigger firm may have a wider variety of personal media contacts, which is key to achieving positive press placement. When hiring a PR firm, it’s important to clearly understand your priorities and determine what kind of PR agency relationship is best suited for you and your business goals.
Make sure you are ready for public relations – You may want people to ‘know’ about your business or brand, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily ready for PR. Is your branding clearly defined? It is important to consider this and several other factors before attempting to build a PR strategy and sign a contract with a PR agency:
- Business proposition clearly defined: Do you know how your business is different than the competition?
- Have you defined and researched your target audience?
- Do you have a proper logo, slogan, and digital presence?
- Do you personally have the time or an employee on your team who can effectively work with the PR firm hand-in-hand to define messaging, story angles, etc?
- Do you have someone who is prepared and ready to be the spokesperson for your business or brand?
- Do you have a PR budget to dedicate at least six months to proactively developing and launching a strategic PR program? Remember: PR takes times. You can’t influence someone’s actions or thoughts in a week.
If you are not clear on the aforementioned bullet points, it’s time to take a step back and first evaluate the business structure and standard branding/marketing principles. If you work with an integrated, full-service agency like Savory PR, you can start with business and branding consulting and then once you are ready, transition to strict proactive PR.
3) Interpersonal relations are key – Organic chemistry, communication style and energy are essential to hiring the right PR agency. Whatever PR firm you decide to work with is going to be an integral extension of your team. They will need to have your back if any PR crisis arises and need to know how to organically work with you to identify and develop proactive and positive stories to tell your audience via the media. It’s also essential to work with an agency that has similar communication skills as you. Make sure the agency’s CEO and team hold the same core values and interests as you. The PR agency that you work with, along with its team, should be just as motivated, inspired, organized and creative as you are about your business and its future growth/success. During your interaction with interviewing agency’s, make sure you gage that qualities and determine which one best suits. Personalities ultimately need to click and communication needs to flow organically between both client and agency in order for a strategic PR campaign to be developed and deployed.
By following these tips, you and your PR agency should have a greater chance of successfully working well together to develop exciting PR campaigns that ultimately grow your reputation and assist in reaching your business goals. If you are interested in working with Savory PR to launch a strategic PR program, set up a complimentary consultation today by emailing us at Samantha@Savory-PR.com. Learn more about our firm on www.Savory-PR.com.