Making the decision to hire a public-relations company is always a tough one. Your company has reached the point where you believe it’s beneficial to seek outside help when it comes to promoting your goods or services to the public. There will always be risks involved when trying to find the right PR firm: what if they don’t understand your industry? What if they create lofty goals that are unattainable?
You’ll want to find the perfect PR company that will benefit your business and will keep you up to date on what they’ve been doing to promote your business. Before you make the hire, here are a few qualities you should be looking for in a PR agency.
They Know How to Measure Success
Any good PR agency will have ways to calculate your company’s growth and success. They should be able to give you a clearly stated and written account of what they believe your company’s PR goals should be. Success can be measured both qualitatively and quantitatively (non-number driven and number-driven, respectively). Don’t hesitate to ask them to elaborate on these goals and make sure you agree with them.
They Know What Media Outlets to Target
An online clothing store will want to target a different type of media outlet than a sheet metal fabrication company, and your PR agency should be able to know this. They should be able to determine what type of media your business’ audience uses to get their news. For example, that online clothing store will most likely benefit from the use of social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. The sheet metal fabrication will have the best luck publishing a Press Release on PRWeb or other notable PR sites.
They Know How to Communicate with Clients
Public relations is built on communication, so if you get the vibe that a PR firm isn’t going to communicate well to you and your business, it’s time to look elsewhere. During your initial meeting, ask how any communication will be carried out between your two companies; there is nothing wrong with setting up biweekly phone calls with your PR representative. Communication goes hand-in-hand with measuring success. Good PR agencies should always be open and up front with you about how progress is going when it comes to achieving your company goals.
They Have Worked with your Industry Before
The first red flag to look for when choosing a good PR firm is whether or not they have even worked on a campaign in your industry before. There are many niche industries out there, such as replacement hybrid car batteries or industrial-strength custom canvas coverings. No matter what you’re business is, make sure the agency has worked with similar clientele in the past. It can’t hurt to do some research on your competitors to see what agencies they use.
Always assume that the first PR firm you hire might not be “the one” due to other factors, but these tips should help weed out a vast majority of firms vying for your business.