In the process of building a business, founders and business developers can in many cases overlook the need for engaging PR, or deliberately choose to delay agency engagement; until they believe the business is ready for the attention. And even when they do reach this point, some business owners are clueless with regards to what to look out for in an agency.
If you’re looking to hire a PR agency for your brand or business, you want to check out the list below of important boxes to check to ensure that you get the most value from your PR agency.
When to hire a PR agency for your business
You may consider hiring an agency once you have clear objectives for your business, and the resources to support what it takes to achieve your goals. What you need to do next, is outline your goals and the KPIs/success metrics that will guide your agency’s strategy and projects.
What to look out for in a PR Agency
After determining these metrics, the next step is looking out for which agency best fits your business needs.
At the core of many PR strategies today, is content production and dissemination. To get the best value for money spent, it is always better to hire an agency that is equipped with the knowledge of modern-age content production (e.g high-quality graphics, audio, video etc) and the resources to execute content ideas. The agency you decide to hire, must understand the content distribution of your target audience and overall business goals and objectives. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this.
For content distribution to be successful, your agency needs to know when and how to incorporate earned, owned, and paid distribution channels. Strong brand stories need to be pitched to the right journalists at the right media platforms. A fashion-focused story won’t do any good on a medicine-focused outlet.
It is important to treat your PR agency as part of your team. This builds trust and creates an atmosphere for effective communication and project execution. Everything, from plans to results should be conveyed as one team. A good PR agency can spot great story angles from the smallest detail. You also need to be responsive and available. You don’t want your PR team thinking “my client doesn’t value me,” as this is the message you convey when you leave their inquiries unanswered. Thus, it is important to show up for regular brainstorming sessions, have regular sync meetings, and be actively involved.
When to fire your PR Agency
You may reach a point where you might need to fire your agency and jump ship. An example is, if all you get during reviews and assessments are excuses, or you sense a lack of accountability, poor communication, lack of initiative, or outright off-brand communication.
As Temi Sacks; public relations/marketing communication executive, states in her LinkedIn article: “if the public relations agency is landing opportunities for you that do not compliment the brand, for example reaching the wrong audience or mentions that don’t address your expertise or product, then it’s time to fire them.”