When it comes to bolstering your business in more ways than one, you need to hire a PR agency. They have the right knowledge and access to the right tools that will drive your business. However, you have to understand whether the PR firm you are choosing is the right fit for your company or not. Your business is changing and thus, you need to be mindful of the same.
What can a PR agency help you with?
Here are some of the services that a PR agency can help you with, such as:
Strategy development: A PR firm can help you create a solid campaign that will help you turn your potential customers into real ones. This is where a PR firm digs into your strengths as a company and works on them. They understand what your target audience wants to see. They help you build a brand!
Your PR firm will also help you define your brand's vision, mission, and goals.
Media Relations: Media relations is one of the top services that you need to avail yourself of from your PR firm in order to create a buzz. You need to get the message out to the media.
Content marketing: Believe us or not, content is still the king and you can drive leads and promote your business through the right content. You can get more conversions through content marketing when media relations. Use content to make your company credible! Other services include press releases, effective copywriting, etc.
Reputation management: A PR agency has more work than you can ever imagine. Reputation management is one of their key responsibilities and they are accountable if something goes wrong. They email newsletters, and messages on website copy, respond to views and constantly engage with followers.
Crisis management: As per PwC, 69% of leaders have witnessed at least one corporate crisis in the last five years and thus, crisis management is another key role of your chosen PR firm. Your business will likely face a crisis someday or the other and a PR firm can come up with a crisis communication plan in difficult times.
Social Media Marketing: Hiring a PR agency to handle your social media is an amazing idea as we all know how social media drives all the attention these days. A quality PR agency will use its strategy to create the perfect brand content for your social media page. They will also have insights into which social media platform targets which demographics. They will effectively create engagement on your social media handle.
Events and Experiential Marketing: Your chosen PR firm will also help you with promotional events and experiential marketing opportunities.
Influencer Relations: The prospects of influencer marketing are right here in front of us. Tying up with the right influencers is downright necessary for building an authentic brand persona so that customers trust you and what you offer.
The time has come to dig deep into where you are going wrong and the only way to do it is by looking out for influencer marketing agencies. While the idea of a new PR agency seems to be exciting, it can take a toll on you too. You need to do your research well so that you come across the best out there.
The average client-agency relationship tenure back in the year 1984 was around 7.2 years. However, the number declined by a massive 25% in 1997 and now it is standing at a plunged rate of 3 years or less.
Here are a few questions that you must ask yourself and your employees to understand what is wrong with your current agency (if you at all have one). This will give you a clear picture.
Do the PR agency staffers get you?
One of the first questions that you need to ask yourself is whether the agency's staff get you or not. If you talk about an idea or pitch your requirements, do they listen to you and customize the plan accordingly?
Or do they simply provide you with a one-plan-fits-all solution? You need to be extremely planned when it comes to strategic marketing as well.
The agency must have specific experience in your industry. The best PR partners will provide you with ample signs that will help you understand that they have the most creative and effective solutions for you.
Is the PR agency innovative?
Does it have a team of creative and interesting people who are always ready for new challenges? Do they provide you with roadmaps of campaigns and sound confident? Do they work with successful brands? There are so many questions you need to find the answers to.
Agency size: You should also check the size of the agency you are currently working with. The small pr firm means small agencies and the big ones mean big companies don’t always hold true.
You must do your research well on whether the team is working on your campaigns or not.
Capability alignment: You do not just need PR, but you also require fresh and good content, social media management, and digital marketing tools. Just having a good PR firm in your bag will not work. Your PR agency should also have good reviews and ratings from prior customers and clients. This would show their efficiency in campaigns and other programs.
Consider All Options: Even though there are options like an in-house team, we would suggest you go for PR agencies because that way, you will be stress-free. Moreover, you do not need to provide them with perks, employee benefits, etc.
Budget: This is yet another major point that you must pay attention to. Your budget must align with the PR agency’s ask.
They must have the right capabilities to meet your goals within your budget.
Be careful about the point people: You need to look behind the curtain if only 1 or 2 senior employees are fronting the agency. Will they lead the entire campaign or they are just for pitching to you? If you have already hired them, does a junior staff take care of your campaign, or are the senior ones are also involved in the same?
Your ideal PR agency will bring the people who will not only be leading the campaigns but also working on your business with you. That’s the essence of a true agency.
However, the qualifications and personalities of those people matter a lot as you will be working with them daily.
Digital capabilities: Digital capabilities are another thing that you need to consider when you are hiring an agency. They should be able to expand your social media presence with their online expertise. Not every PR agency out there knows beyond traditional PR.
Results: Make sure that the agency you choose is allowing you to track the campaign. Whether it is influencer marketing or social media placements, PR is an awareness tool and you must be able to track the performance. Metrics are essential in the age of accountability.
Does the agency promote and provide media coverage? Do you see your sales rising with the help? So these are a few questions that you need to ask yourself so that you know where you are standing if you have already hired a PR firm.
However, if you are new to this and searching for the right firm, please read one.
Top tips to find a pr firm
Research well: One of the first things that you should do is research well because there are a plethora of consultants to choose from. Try to talk to business associates and your network in order to get recommendations.
Talk to your representative who can suggest you PR agencies as they have a wide chain. Make sure that you have a budget in mind so that you can tell the PR form about the same in the beginning.
Be upfront about how much money you can spend on PR. Everyone involved will end up saving time and effort when you are really transparent about what you are looking for and your expenses.
Establish your goals: It is very important for you to establish your PR goals. Are they aligning with your shortlisted PR agencies? Do you want to generate media placements, attend speaking engagements or position yourself as an industry leader? You need to have clear answers to them so that your PR goals are clear in your head.
Apart from managing the reputation of your company, they will take care of other requirements as well. In order to create brand awareness, you need to ensure that the process is streamlined.
Understand Your Contract: Once you have made a decision, you have to review your contract and double-check points like duration, cost, team, what they offer to you, and reporting. You have to understand the contract in detail so that there are no last-minute hiccups or disruptions.
Check the credentials: As mentioned before, you need to check the agency’s experience, mission, how they work and how they track a campaign. Delve deep so that the PR firm can help your business reach heights.