Where do I start with finding the right PR agency
Choosing the right PR agency to generate more interest and income for your Brand could be a rather daunting affair but when you find chemistry with one, it is a time for celebration.
How would a PR agency help me
Chances are, if you are a small business, you don't have a full-time communications expert in-house and you could be wondering how to generate more income. This could leave you feeling frustrated, time-strapped and worried about the future of your company. You could be spending every spare minute in between doing the day-to-day working, trying to promote your brand online.
Generating more income will only happen if more people know about you. Even if you did have an in-house communications expert, a PR agency's expertise can realise your ambitions and potentially get what you sell in front of far more people than you would be able to do yourselves. From getting your business in the press to building your online reputation, they can distinguish businesses of all sizes from the competition.
How do I go about choosing the right PR Agency?
Look at the PR firm and consider: What range of media are they, demonstrably and consistently, successful in getting coverage in? Do they assist with events, content and meetings with the press? What feelings are you experiencing? There has to be chemistry for it to work and if you are not feeling it, don’t try and feel it.
Is the person that you are talking to the one that you would be working with? Have they asked about your business objectives? Are they giving you honest advice and being open about how they operate? Are they interested in listening to you? A good PR agent will be realistic and if they can’t help you, they will tell you.
Unfortunately, some people are promised the moon overnight (or were led to believe), only to feel extremely let down. Expectations always have to be managed because as mentioned in our article about attracting customer attention, PR is not marketing. They have different goals and PR is aimed at reaping long term investment benefits for you and your brand and not short-lived. This, we believe, is the beauty and value of PR.
Knowing how a team not only succeeds but exceeds at coverage for their clients shows their commitment and drive to work hard but remember that you don’t just want to look at Case Studies because your brand and you are unique to you. The PR strategy will be put together with all of this in mind. You want to hear about ideas and strategies which are beyond the obvious.
You want to feel a great sense of excitement about what they intend to achieve for you. You want to hear that their strategy aligns with your objectives. This is a huge moment and one that represents a significant validation of your work, team, company's vision and future. This may be your company's first moment in the mainstream media spotlight. Having the right PR agency onboard is crucial to the success of your vision.
Your meeting should be a discussion that generates excitement in all of you and not a one-sided conversation about the PR firm's achievements. If they exhibit some of the passion you hold for your business and have a great understanding, you will feel that passion and care, and it could be the perfect match.
Does size matter?
There is a general presumption that the bigger PR firms may be able to do more but bigger does not always mean better and you could be working with a huge team, rather than an individual. A smaller, boutique PR firm tends to be dedicated and offer better value. You will be an important client and work directly with super experienced senior people and get personal attention.
A larger firm may be impersonal and it would be disappointing being swayed by an experienced Senior PR agent, only to find out that you will be working with a very new inexperienced Junior. Make sure you know who you are working with from the off go. A Junior may be very eager to please, work alongside a Senior and may fit you nicely.
A boutique PR firm could get your brand into places that a larger firm couldn't. What would be ideal is working with a Senior PR agent at a top boutique PR firm, that has broad skillsets, experience with making huge successes of PR projects for businesses of all sizes, have high profile relationships and a large network of connections including internationally.
A boutique PR firm (like us) will have diverse expertise, works in all industries and will get fantastic coverage for your company and who challenge embedded thinking in a positive way. No matter the size, when choosing the right PR agency, consider what they will say that they can do for you and trust your instinct.
What shall I consider when choosing a PR agency?
Listen to their pitch. Is it what you want? Bear in mind what you want to achieve with the PR Campaign. Is it a change of perception of your brand? Is it an investment? You don't want to be unhappy with the result. Be realistic about what you believe the PR campaign will do for you.
Think about the specifics of building awareness of your product. Who exactly should know about it? Who do you want to reach and what do they listen to or look at? What do you want your target audience to do? The PR agent will be able to help you with this.
Will you enjoy working with the PR agent? How will you manage your relationship with them? The PR agency will be an extension of your business - there has to be chemistry! Can you rely on them? What does your instinct say?
Ask about expectations and what tools they will use to track your project. An experienced, professional PR agent will understand every element of your business and its goals. Transparency is imperative. Negotiate changes, if you are not sure.
When considering the right PR agency, remember that a good, honest PR strategy from a PR agent that you instinctively trust, will be working with entirely and has passion, lots of great experience and drive, can be critical to your success. Look for PR and Media Relations agents that keep on top of the media daily and are constantly considering their clients. PR agents that find the stories and the right way to tell them; finding the heart of your company message and making the impact that you want and quite possibly exceed your expectations.