Choosing a PR Agency: Ask these questions first!

Your product is great, you’ve got robust data to share, your messages are on point and now you’re thinking “We need help raising our profile with our desired audiences.” With thousands of U.S. PR agencies to choose from, the process of selecting a partner can be dizzying. As you begin the process of selecting an agency, consider these questions:

What are my goals?
Whether it’s quality media coverage, speaking opportunities and award wins, thought leadership contributions, or some combination of the bunch, having specific goals to work toward ensures your ability to measure the success or failure of a PR push.

Go big or go home?
Not necessarily! Often times, when a company hasn’t worked with a PR agency, they default to the big names. However, big names often come with big billing rates and a less-personalized approach. Working with a small or even mid-size agency can help ensure your organization receives the attention it deserves from experienced industry pros, not junior employees. Sometimes it’s good to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond.

Who are their clients, and are they happy?
Related business means the agency has a solid understanding of the industry in which you operate, as well as existing media relationships at targeted publications. Less ramp-up means a greater chance for rapid and meaningful results! How about client retention? Do they keep clients around? If so, this track record could signal a likelihood to effectively meet your needs.

Do I need niche?
Interested in analyst relations? Gaining recognition of top analyst groups and influencers is critical to establishing a leadership position in almost any industry, but not every PR agency offers the service. How about media training?  If your spokespeople can benefit from a few tips (most can), ask about the ongoing role of the trainer on the account. How do they ensure spokespeople continue to improve? Consider all of your needs, even the long term ones, before selecting your agency.

Do I like them?
Any PR agency should be considered an extension of your team. When all things are equal, consider this simple question to envision who you’ll enjoy working with to meet the goals of your PR program. Ask about employee retention to shed light on whether the team you meet today is likely to be the same team you work with in a year or two. You’ll be collaborating to brainstorm that next big idea and navigate the challenges that are sure to come, so a friendly and cooperative relationship with your team is essential.

Answered those questions and ready to drive success with your PR program? Give us a shout to see if we’re the right fit!

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