Choosing the right PR agency to promote your business start-up is very important. You want to make sure that you are working with an agency that will be compatible with the needs of your business and that will do a fantastic job at promoting you. Alternatively you can hire a PR freelancer and there are many services available to do this from PR recruitment agencies such as Media Recruitment to hiring platforms such as Freelancer.co.uk.
In order to help you determine which PR agency is the right fit for you, there are a few questions that you should be asking in the initial few first meetings. These questions will help you to get a better sense whether or not the PR agency you are considering hiring is the right one for you.
What is Your Specialty?
PR firms are all different and each firm will have strengths and weaknesses and will be focused on a particular area such as entertainment, travel, fashion or home design. You will want to find an agency that is familiar with your business as they will have a better understanding of how best to promote you.
Who Are Your References?
When you are hiring a PR firm, ask them for contact information of other clients that they have worked for. Call up or email these references to find out more information from them about their experiences dealing with the firm. You want to choose a firm that has a proven track record of success and many other satisfied past clients.
What Will Be Your Approach to Promoting My Company?
Before hiring on a PR agency, you want to make sure that they are on the same page as you and that you like their strategy for promoting you. If their goals are not in sync with your goals then you might run into problems along the line. You can help the company to develop an approach which fits you by giving them the information they need to know about your brand history, story, competitive advantage and your products.
What Connections Do You Have?
You want a PR agency to be able to raise your profile within the local community, so ask them how well connected they are within that community. The more influential people and members of the press that they know the better as this will help you to get results as soon as possible.
How do you Measure Results?
When you are working with a PR agency, you want to make sure that you are both on the same page when it comes to measuring results. Some firms will measure their return on investment based on the comparable price of an ad placement. For example, if a firm manages to land you an interview which is on a full page of a particular magazine, they might value that at the same rate as a full-page ad within that same magazine. However, there are things that are harder to measure such as brand awareness, so make sure that you discuss this with your PR agency so that you both have an understanding.
What Information do you need From Me?
In order for the PR agency to be able to promote your brand effectively, they will likely need product samples, media outreach packages, high res JPGs of your product and more. The more materials of this nature that you have to supply to them, the easier it will be for them to promote your brand.
If you don’t already have a press kit, you could ask the agency to help you develop one, as this will be a very valuable and helpful promotional tool.
These are just a few important questions that you should be asking a PR agency before you make the decision to hire them for the task of promoting your business.
Carlo Pandian is a freelance online PR and blogs about media, careers and technology. When he’s not online, Carlo loves volunteering at his local community centre and cooking Italian food.