Selecting a PR agency is a strategic step for your business, especially if you have not conducted an agency search before. It is a significant investment that can affect your overall marketing budget and the future of your business. Interview different PR agencies to determine if you are a good fit for each other. Here are seven questions to help you evaluate PR agencies.
1. How Will We Measure Success?
Your PR company should have realistic success measurements to evaluate your marketing campaign's progress. Your understanding of what success looks like aids in evaluating return on investment. Make sure that your PR firm can define clear elements they use to measure the success of a campaign, like increased subscriptions or sales.
2. Who Will Manage Our Account?
You will want to meet the agent who will manage your account. When working with large PR firms, they often introduce you to their account directors or CEOs. Since these employees do not typically handle client accounts, you may want to ask to speak with an account manager. This enables you to communicate and have a clear understanding of what to anticipate once the campaign starts.
3. What Is Your PR Agency Specialty?
This question helps you establish the experience of the PR company in your industry. Your understanding of the agency's specialty guides you in identifying how in touch they are with your specific industry. Make sure they have existing relationships with editors and journalists in your industry.
Hiring a well-connected PR firm with successful pitching stories is a sign they are effective at what they do. The more experienced and specialized an agency is in your industry, the higher the chances of delivering results.
4. Where Do We Stand in Your Client Roster?
Knowing your position regarding production requirements and agency spending compared to other clients is key. It gives you a preview of how important you are to the agency. If you are the smallest client the agency has, you might be assigned to the junior account team.
You want to work with a company that has time for your business. If possible, choose to work with a company where you are the most important client in their roster. They are highly likely to prioritize you and make sure all your campaigns are productive.
5. Who Are Your References?
Request the PR firm to provide references for existing clients and some who no longer work with them. You can also email or directly call previous clients to learn more about the company. Confirm the benefits and any potential challenges of working with the PR company.
Find out why previous clients no longer work with the agency. You want to work with an agency with satisfied customers and past clients.
6. How Often Will We Communicate?
You need to understand how the agency manages client collaboration and communication. Work with a PR firm that maintains open communication at all times. Make sure your agency communicates when they secure a new opportunity or develop a new idea for your brand.
Marketing and PR campaigns typically take a minimum of six months. It would help if you had proper communication channels to make plans, actualize them, and follow up on progress. Enquire if the agency has a communication system to track the progress of your marketing initiatives.
7. Are You Familiar With Our Brand & Products?
Confirm that the PR company understands your company's mission, vision, and overall brand. It would help if you worked with an agency that has spent time trying to understand your products and brands. This way, they draft marketing campaigns oriented toward your culture and goals.
It would be best if you worked with a team that is passionate about your industry. This process translates into strategies specific to your industry and products.
Find the Best PR Agency for Your Business
Before hiring a PR firm, you must feel confident in the agency's ability to help you attain your goals. It would help if you asked them questions that ascertain you are in safe hands. Doing so enables you to hire a PR agency that understands your brand and has experience working within your industry. Assess as many PR agencies as possible and choose to work with one that has proved successful in your sector over time.