Working with a PR agency is a huge decision for any business. Public Relations can make or break a business, so you can’t underestimate the amount of due diligence and time you need to spend finding the right PR agency for you.
To help with this decision, here are some of the important considerations when choosing the right PR agency:
Know your goals
It’s all very well expecting a PR agency to take the reins and formulate an effective PR strategy for you, but you need to know what your goals are first.
You will have to communicate what direction you see your company and brand going in. A good PR agency will then work with you and make suggestions to help you achieve, and hopefully exceed your goals.
Just by talking with different agencies, you’ll know if they’re on the same page as you in regards to your goals.
Have a budget in mind
If you’re the decision-maker in your company, you’ll know how important it is to have a budget in mind – and stick to it.
Your budget is going to narrow the field for you. It’s often hard to navigate, as PR is rarely a fixed-price service. But have the talk about budget early on in the discussions with a PR agency so you know where you stand.
It’s hard to replace market knowledge and expertise in a specific industry or market. It’s a catch-22 for a PR agency to get experience in an industry if companies won’t take a chance on them, but that’s not your problem.
If you want to maximise your chance of finding the right agency for your business, it’s important you find one that has experience in your industry.
Industry relationships, jargon, and inside knowledge can prove invaluable for a PR strategy. Leverage these things by working with an agency that understands your market.
Ask a lot of questions
PR agencies are often great at pitching their services, and it can easily become a one-sided conversation.
The only way you’re going to know for sure if a PR agency is the right fit for your organisation, is by asking a lot of questions.
Get to know the team members individually, find out how they approach PR, and generally put them on the backfoot. Treat your meeting with a PR agency as you are interviewing them as much as it is them finding out what you want.
Check their portfolio
A PR agency is only as good as what they’ve achieved to date. Most of the top PR agencies are proud to display their previous work and talk about clients they’ve done PR for.
Take a good look at their previous clients. Look at the types of strategies they use, the results they’ve had, and see where you see your own organisation fitting in with what they do.
If they won’t show you some previous clients that impress you, this is a huge red flag.