How to choose a PR agency
One of the biggest challenges companies face when it comes to choosing the right PR agency is ensuring the right fit. After all, bringing on an agency is a big investment in both time and money, so you want to make sure it’s the right one.
The basis of a good client/PR agency relationship is a mutual desire to achieve the same goal. If this is not reflected in your business relationship, then ultimately, it will fail. With this in mind, here are some things to consider before choosing a PR agency.
Do they understand you?
When drawing up your agency shortlist, look for inquisitive agencies. A good agency will have a process in place to understand your challenges from the offset. It’s a good sign if you are asked a number of probing questions about your business, your successes, your challenges, and importantly, your overall goals.
What’s their approach?
PR is an indispensable part of the marketing mix – but it is certainly a medium that has evolved. Securing coverage through traditional media channels used to be the ultimate goal, but with a range of other channels now at hand, this is only half of the story.
Look for an agency that can bring in aspects of both traditional and digital PR. Do they just talk about coverage numbers, or do they understand that a great PR campaign not only results in increased brand awareness, but will also benefit your SEO strategy, provide great content for your social media campaigns and tie in with your content marketing activity? If they don’t, then any PR campaign they run will exist in isolation thereby limiting its impact.
Do they know your industry?
No agency is going to know more about your industry than you do but finding one that has some experience in your sector will help.
However, don’t forget that if the agency is as good as they say they are, they’ll be able to spot a great story regardless of sector. They’ll also be able to build great relationships with key journalists and influencers and they’ll be able to craft content that informs, persuades and converts regardless of whether they are a sector specialist or not. Ask for evidence of this!
How will they measure success?
It’s all very well implementing a PR strategy, but if you can’t tell if it’s working, what’s the point? Measuring the success of PR activity – and acting on the results – should be a core part of your agency’s strategy.
Ask how your agency will measure success and discuss specific targets prior to choosing your PR agency.
Are they collaborative?
You might already work with key suppliers, such as videographers, graphic designers, advertising agencies and so on, and want to continue these relationships in addition to bringing on a new PR agency.
If this is the case, your chosen PR agency should be able to demonstrate a collaborative nature. How will they work with your stakeholders, and what will they do to accommodate their approach? Learning this from the offset is recommended to avoid difficulties further down the line.
The right PR agency will work tirelessly to understand your business, your target market, your key stakeholders and your challenges. They’ll not only be able to raise the profile of your business and manage its reputation, but they’ll help increase your search visibility, provide invaluable content for your other marketing channels and ensure your message resonates more than that of your competitors’. But it’s not easy to find the right fit. Look for inquisitive, collaborative and integrated agencies and most importantly, look for ones that know how to measure success.
Are you considering a new approach to your PR? Get in touch with Represent. Why not bring Represent your challenge and let us provide a solution? We strive for amazing in everything we do!