Tips for Choosing a PR Agency

Whether you are looking for a large or Boutique PR Agency, you want a firm that will best serve your business. To choose a great agency, define your goals and budget, conduct initial research on several agencies, meet with your selections, complete deeper research and request proposals from your top choices.

Define Goals and Budget

Budget

Identify your specific goals and budget. For example, are you looking for assistance with events or social media management? Do you intend to launch a new company or product or expand your business? In addition, list your strengths and weaknesses and how you want them showcased or improved, respectively. Are you looking for a small or large agency and why?

Develop your budget and state your preferred payment method. For example, do you want to pay per project, have a monthly retainer or pay based on performance? Clarify how you want overages, expenses and incidentals handled. Finally, will you require written approval for over-budget services?

Initial Research

Search for intriguing press examples. Also, ask your colleagues and friends for recommendations and questions to ask each firm.

Research these firms to determine if they have a good name and are customer centered. In addition, what companies and industries have they worked with? Is their experience transferrable to your company? Distinguish the company’s capabilities and whether they are aligned with your goals.

First Meeting

During the initial meeting, discuss your goals and learn whether the company has a similar interest in or passion for your industry. Learn about their experience and the services they offer. Identify how the firms measure success and if you will have a dedicated person who will handle your account.

State your expectations and support needs. Ask for client and journalist references.

Deeper research

Check the companies’ references and journalists to determine their approach and range of media connections.

Investigate the companies’ online profiles and media coverage. Are they proactive, innovative, results oriented and knowledgeable about market trends? Review their results and effectiveness, digital capabilities and competitiveness in the market. Are they aligned with your goals? Finally, learn where you fall financially within the company’s clients.

Proposal

During the proposal, listen for unique, innovative ideas. In addition, observe the team. Do they listen to you and allow your participation? Identify your main contacts and team and ensure everyone participated in the pitch. Ask why the team members chose to work with their agencies.

Take notes. Were you inspired? How were you treated? Identify any potential personality conflicts or concerns.

Before choosing a PR agency, identify your goals and budget. Then, conduct initial research, meet with, and conduct deep research on each company. Finally, sit through proposals from your top choices.

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