By Emily L. Rodrigues
When trying to pick the right PR agency for your organization, there’s a lot to take into consideration. While we’d love to work with you, we want to make sure the partnership is a good one. Here is a guide to help you figure out what to look for in a PR agency.
What are your PR Goals?
In order to have mutual satisfaction with the process, it’s good to know what you want so you can communicate well with the firms in order to determine who is most well-equipped to help your brand and achieve your goals. It’s important to have an idea of what you’d like to accomplish before you meet with PR firms, but know that the right PR firm can help you fine-tune and refine your goals during the process.
Who will you be working with?
On a day-to-day basis will you be working with the people who come to the pitch meeting? Or will they be passing work along to less experienced employees & interns? Especially when it comes to your brand reputation make sure you know exactly who you’ll be working with and who will be responsible for which projects.
What is their experience in Media Coaching?
Simply writing press releases and creating media opportunities may not be enough to ensure you are best-representing your organization. Ask if they do media coaching for spokespersons and other staff members who may come in contact with the press.
What is their Media Market?
Who are they connected to? If they are a hyper-localized business without any media contacts in your area, they may not be a great fit. Media contacts can always be made, but you can get started faster if they are already connected to outlets in your area.
What is their Client Load?
Are they overwhelmed? Do they depend almost entirely on one client who will get most of their attention? Give a lot of thought to the type of clients they manage, how long they retain their clients and ask for references. Despite the fact you wouldn’t be the agency’s only client, you need to ensure that if you need them, they’ll be there.
How do they Measure Success?
Do they give tangible goals and objectives laid out? Would you be satisfied with their service if those are the things they achieved? How you measure success for your organization’s PR strategy should align with how your PR agency understands success. Ask questions, make suggestions, and be open about what goals you hope to achieve.
Do they understand or have the ability to learn about your industry?
Some agencies specialize in particular industries, and others have a wide range of clients and enjoy working with a combination of industries. They may have more contacts in a specialized agency, but you’d also be competing for space against the rest of their clients. Whether or not you want an agency that specializes in one area is up to you, but be careful if you notice that the rest of their clients are in an industry different entirely from yours. If it’s not a good fit, don’t be afraid to move on.
Do you like the people you’d be working with?
People working at PR firms are human, so it’s important to make sure the personalities of your team & the PR team you will be working with are cohesive. A good PR team will simply be an extension of your organization.