When you’ve set up your company, you want to make sure that everyone knows what your company is all about. You want the services you are offering, the message you want to tell the world, and your reason for existing to reach the people you would like to be associated with.
This is true whether you are a startup or a company that already exists but is considering reintroducing yourself to the market. To get that done, you should seriously consider hiring professionals who have experience doing that daily.
PR agencies are prevalent, proof that there is a demand for the services they offer. They are always plugged into media outlets, journalists, and industry influencers that your company wants to reach. In a world where promotion is king, finding the right PR agency for you is critical.
What should I look for in a PR agency?
PR Services and Specialization
When determining which PR agency to hire, you need to see if the services they provide will indeed benefit your company. Since agencies come in all shapes and sizes, your ideal scenario is to hire a PR agency that matches your needs.
The PR services that the agency provides should meet what you are looking for in the first place. A PR firm that specializes in technology probably wouldn’t be able to handle public relations for the entertainment industry.
It’s vital that no matter what size the agency is, you should hire a PR firm with specialized services for your brand and the company’s specific requirements. This specialization means that the agency side already has relationships and contacts with media and reporters in media outlets that you want to appear in.
Kristin Tishhauser, the Managing Partner of PR firm talkTECH, suggests paying attention to the types of clients in your prospective agency’s portfolio. “If the agency’s portfolio consists of mostly early-stage startups and you’re a startup, then this would make sense for you.”
Still, if the agency works for big brands and you’re a startup, then it might not be a good match. You might not get the attention you want and deserve to make a real splash in the press.
For its size, a small or boutique agency is going to be very flexible and nimble. They’re going to be up-to-speed on changing trends while wearing many hats. Because they’re so small, you will likely work with everyone, from the CEO down to the interns.
The previously mentioned specialization comes in when an agency is mid-sized. They can offer you a team of specialists to work with, which means you’ll see less of the CEO as their business grows.
A large PR agency comes with its pros and cons. These can work with other offices or sister agencies to meet almost all of your needs. The caveat is that the teams you’ll likely be dealing with will tend to be more junior. That will only change if there’s a crisis or something big comes up.
The advantage of an agency that is part of a larger network of agencies is that you can have access to a broader range of services that meet your needs as they evolve. The smaller the agency, however, the more likely that they will focus solely on you and your company’s needs because of the reality that they don’t have too many clients just yet.
Solid Track Record
Although there are always new and up-and-coming agencies sprouting up, you need to know if the people in the agency (if not the agency itself) have the necessary experience to bring out the best in your brand.
Ask what companies and brands they have previously dealt with and ask what the results of those previous engagements bore. These case studies can give you a feel if they are equipped to be your partner and help you measure success.
From clippings and media reports on previous engagements to awards they’ve been given for their work, a solid PR firm should be able to give you these metrics with ease.
Hiring a PR firm likely entails charging you a monthly retainer for a certain number of hours. Ideally, before signing on the dotted line, you should try to understand how those hours will be used, how the agency plans to track them, and what charges will be made for exceeding the agreed hours.
Once you’ve entered into a working relationship, you can ask how many hours are used each week. This will allow you to plan your efforts accordingly while maintaining transparency with your PR agency.
Larger agencies will always be more expensive hence the need to consider smaller agencies in your search. Finally, remember that no PR agency can guarantee a 100% media hit. No matter their relationships with journalists and how great they pitch, other factors beyond anyone’s control can get in the way.
Develop a Partnership with your Agency
When you hire someone new for your company, you want to integrate them with everything that you built your brand around. The same goes when hiring a PR agency. Treating your agency as a partner or as an extension of your team can go a long way in achieving success for you both.
By giving the agency information on current and future developments as well as direct communication with select stakeholders/bosses within your company, you are letting them see how you work and how you want things.
Giving the agency access to your company logo, founders’ headshots, and past news releases allows your PR firm to also immerse itself in your culture and further familiarize its team with where you’ve been and where you plan to go.
Openness with each other means your agency can give you the most honest assessments of where they think you have been lagging and need improvement. There’s a reason you brought them in, and having an outsider’s perspective allows them to help you achieve your bottom line moving forward.
Talk to Us
Centaur Marketing is a PR agency you should consider for your company’s purposes. Aside from possessing the experience, knowledge, and ability to help promote your brand and reach your target audience. Our team of marketing professionals is versed in the ins and outs of both traditional and digital PR, allowing us to identify which to focus on for your brand.
We help you define your brand and create the right brand messaging you require. Through informed research and analysis, we help craft a message for that audience while keeping you ahead of your competition. Our track record of satisfied clients and successful campaigns speaks for itself.
Contact us today to learn more.