Keep in Mind the Followings before Hiring a PR Agency
Finding a good PR agency to run your PR campaign can seems to be an easy job but in actual it is not. The decision about which PR firm to hire is a difficult one and needs a lot of focus and genuineness as hiring them means you are giving one important element of your business to them to handle.
This involves a lot of risk as well because you never know whether the PR campaign will generate the results as desired, whether your decision of hiring a PR firm will benefit your business or not and various other such concerns.
How to Choose a Good PR Agency?
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In order to choose a good PR agency, you must look into these questions before finally hiring one:
1- What will be the measuring tool to ascertain the success of PR campaign?
This should be the very first thing you need to clear. How are you going to measure your success? Will you judge it on the basis of likes you get on your Facebook page or will you keep a track of how much traffic on website has grown?
How much are you able to grab the space on print media or how much your prospective client list has grown? These and various other factors are there on which you can base your judgment as to whether the PR agency is doing good for you.
2- Best media to reach your target audience be?
Your PR agency must know what media reaches your target audience in the most effective way. This is irrespective of the fact that it is old media or new media.
Whatever be it, online promotions or print media you need to be very clear and precise in making your PR firm aware of what newspapers, magazines, websites etc reach your target audience the best.
3- Find out who worked on campaigns in your industry:
If you want to increase the chances of your success, it would be better to hire a PR firm that has been into your type of business or say your industry before. The firm which has experience in your line will be able to understand things easily and in no time. Also the risk of being unsuccessful will be lowered down.
For this, you can go through the PR firms past record, the campaigns it undertook in the past with clients in the same industry as yours, what was the success rate etc.
Also you can look out for the people managing the accounts earlier on this front with the agency. See if you can reach them to offer to work for you.
4- Who you will be working with?
You need to find out who will be the people working with you on day to day basis from the agency before you hire the PR firm. See whom you are going to spend time.
Most often PR firms send their best people when pitching your business or closing sale but for regular day to day activities you would probably be working with lower level staff.
Therefore, confirm beforehand as to who will be the ones working with you on daily basis.
5- Are you free to shut down the contract when no results are seen?
See if there's any clause in the contract that locks you under the obligation to stick to this arrangement even when the results obtained are not the one desired.
Many PR agencies put you under the contract that you have no option but to carry on with it despite unsatisfactory results.
You need to review the performance after the the initial 90 days and if the results are not positive in these 3 months you must know the contract is vain and this one is not going to work.
6- What are you charging for the services offered?
There will a whole list of services offered to you according to your budget. Now here in order to ensure whether the PR firm is sharing risk with you or not or burdening you with all the risk, you need to ask if the firm offers pay-per-performance model that helps you link payments with the results.
You can ask for an a LA carte menu for services like social media campaigns, press releases, videos etc. You must know what are the charges for specific services.
7- Are they social media experts or just into traditional media?
You must know what are their social media expertise. Do they excel in social media. Are they well versed in this area? What have they done for their clients on social media?
Were the results favorable? Were the clients satisfied? Were they able to run contests and promotions on social media and exploit the opportunities in the best possible manner. See if they are just into traditional media because this would not be enough in today's scenario.