6 Important Criteria of a PR Agency
The support of a good PR firm can greatly impact the growth of one’s business. While many people look at hiring a PR agency as an expense, it really is an investment towards the success of the company. But like all good investments, the results with a PR agency is not instantaneous. Since companies only see the real impact of a good PR agency after substantial amount of time, the process of choosing the right PR agency for the company becomes vital.
Below are some things to keep in mind when choosing a PR agency for your company.
1. Strategy First
The first thing you need to do, even before googling best PR agencies in your city, is to have your goals decided. Before you hire an agency, you need to know what you are hiring them to do. As a company, your goals could be brand awareness, promoting a specific product or dealing with a crisis. Once you know your goals, finding the agency that can help you achieve them becomes far easier.
2. Proven Success
There are thousands of PR agencies out there who obviously do good PR for their own firm. When starting with such a large number of options, a proven track record is an effective way of cutting down your options to a more manageable size. Once you have a shorter list, you can trim it further by asking agencies for examples and case studies in areas your company will be focusing on. Don’t be scared to ask for references who you can talk to too.
3. Size Does Matter
Ask yourself this: do you want to be the smallest client of a big PR agency, or the biggest client of a small PR agency? Both come with their set of pros and cons. Being the agency’s smallest client will mostly result in junior talents being assigned to your account. Being the biggest client can, therefore, mean more attention and customized service. The size of the PR agency you need will also depend on your objectives. Smaller agencies might suffice for a one-off project while a full-sized agency might be required for a complete brand overhaul.
4. Money Matters
Hiring a PR agency is not cheap. In fact, with so many variable costs associated with PR, it has the potential to become one of the most financially draining components of the company. Make sure the agency knows your maximum budget limits. When deciding on numbers, keep things such as retainer fees, overages and unforeseen circumstances and expenses in mind. Also, remember that the same money will hold different value for different agencies. A $10,000/month retainer might make you the smallest client in one agency and the biggest in another. Keep in mind that the bigger clients are always serviced by the A Teams.
Finding a PR agency that specializes in your area of business can make the entire exercise of working with an agency more seamless and effective. As a start-up, you might need an agency that can help you attract investors. But the same agency will not be the best choice for, say, a celebrity. Working with an agency that specializes in your field will also mean strong connections in the market. This will result in the best coverage for your content.
6. The Fit
Many companies make the mistake of overlooking the culture aspect when hiring a PR agency. Always think of the agency as an extension of your team. Just like you think about the culture fit before hiring a new employee, the same should be done when hiring a PR agency.
The aim of the PR agency should be to help you achieve your business objectives. Ensure that the agency you hire is result oriented. And like with all third-party transactions, trust will play a strong part in the success of this partnership, so always maintain and expect a certain level of transparency.