While some companies seem to have a magic way of easily getting featured on Washington Post, Forbes, or the New York Times, there are countless others that struggle. They might turn to a public relations (PR) firm for help, only to get a large team of billable people that take months to get off the ground.
However, it’s an established truth that companies cannot grow without PR efforts. So, how do you find a good firm that provides value for the money spent?
While simply hiring a boutique PR firm might make it affordable, at times, it might not always address the specific needs of your company, putting it at risk of wasting money in the long run. That said, the following sections will focus on getting the most from your chosen firm without compromising your company’s vision.
Be Aware of What to Expect
PR is a skillset and involves numerous skill sets. To ensure quality and relevance specific to your company, it’s imperative that you’re aware of the services the firm is really good at delivering—and that you know precisely which ones you need. If you don’t know, you can ask, but don’t expect an outside company to have a better understanding of your needs than you do.
You don’t need to decide on the size of the PR firm before hiring one. Sometimes, a freelance PR consultant is a better option than a full-fledged PR firm. You’re looking for results and effectiveness, not a flashy name.
Before starting a search, discuss with everyone involved what success looks like and choose a person or team that can meet those goals. There’s no “right” way to do this. The only right way to succeed is to get what you want.
Know Your Role after Hiring a PR Firm
It cannot be said enough that economical PR firms also produce quality solutions that have powerful effects, provided that you play your role. Know what you are trying to achieve and how to measure it. You are the client, you steer this conversation. Own it.
Be clear and concise. So often there are many different opinions battling for supremacy. You need to manage the feedback from your company and be sure it is clear.
When a PR firm approaches a prospective client, they base their proposals on thorough research of your business, your place in the market, your client-base, the pain points of your business, etc. They merge this research work with their own knowledge to come up with solutions for you. However, that does not guarantee they’ll be successful based on your expectations. Again, it’s up to you to decide and communicate what success looks like from your side of the table.
Reanalyzing and subsequently redefining your plans about every quarter boosts flexibility. This will also ensure that expectations are met for both parties involved, and if changes are needed, they can be made swiftly.
Trust Your Firm’s Expertise
PR firms specialize in the task that you set them to accomplish. Their success as an agency depends on satisfying you. Therefore, while it is required that you are proactive in providing new content and angles, you also have to depend on their strengths. PR firms tend to have access to relevant and ongoing discussions pertaining to your industry. That is a benefit of their expertise and you can rely on it.
While it might be a recurring thought that your internal staff might carry out the task of a PR team, there’s a reason why companies seek professional PR help. A PR team comes with opportunities, contacts, and expertise that are the direct result of their own success.
Be Clear about the Contract
The general idea is that successful PR takes time. It’s not an instant answer. However, every firm has its own way of working. PR firms provide a variety of terms. You should be free to build a relationship that works for your company.
A short-term contract puts the onus of demonstrating their value to your company on the PR firms. On the other hand, long-term contracts can be disastrous if the partnership fails. A soiled relationship with your PR agency can have direct consequences on your sales and revenue.
Being clear about expectations, managing your internal team, and taking responsibility for your role as a good client will go a long way in making sure you get the best from your PR firm without spending a ton of money.
Interesting related article: “What is Public Relations?“