10 TIPS TO IDENTIFY THE RIGHT PR FIRM!
Hiring a PR firm that too the right one might not be an easy task after all. With too much choice and ever growing competition, we are often too confused and uncertain about our decision. Here are 10 tips that can help you make the right choice
There are a number of PR agencies in the city. The key is to find an agency that will be able to address your particular issue and aim. An agency who has probably already dealt with your nature of work and who specializes in your field comes handy. Never send out your proposal to too many firms. Since the jack of all trades not always works for us and sometimes we are left with too many options, this is one simple way to identify the firm of your choice. Now that you are familiar with their similar record of work you can associate at ease.
Before you hire an agency or decide the scale of activities you want them to conduct for you, have a clear understanding of your budget. Especially if you are a start up, make sure you have the capability to run the expenses for your PR team on the long run and this does not prove to be a hindrance for your other activities. Many a times we should be ready to INVEST more than required for our PR activities. It is fine to be a little creative with your budget and the nature of this field is as such that one will ultimately end up spending more than the actual sketched budget because there are a lot more activities you will end up funding once the key promotions start. Thus it is always safe to be flexible with your expenditure right from the start.
PRESENT WELL, RECEIVE BETTER
Make sure you get all the necessary information about your company in place before you approach any PR firm. You as a company should be able to clearly explain the main objective and goal which they are going to help you achieve. List out pointers and do not forget to lay emphasis on key terms of the project. Get the message right and present it in a perfect manner so that the PR agency is able to exactly understand what your needs are and address to them accordingly. Many a times companies are not sure on what track they want to follow and blindly sign the deal in the rush of gaining the advantages of PR efforts and ultimately end up with haphazard results. So to avoid this, make sure you are clear with the aim and approach right from the start.
LOOK FOR A PARTNER, NOT JUST A FIRM
Remember that you will be working very closely with your PR firm for a long time and you should be able to establish a certain kind of relationship with them. They are now not only a firm who has signed a contract with you, but act as your extended partner. With them you should be able to communicate with ease and they should be equally responsible and happy for your growth. Treat them like your employees and not a third party. You should want to work with them and establish the right chemistry for better results.
Apart from preparing yourself and planning your objectives, make sure you do the right amount of research about the PR firm your hiring. Also do not limit your research to online search, look for recommendations, track records, their existing clients etc. The clients they have already had tie ups within the past are very good leads to decide whether you have made the right choice.
Time period in terms of testing of results and signing contracts is very important. Also understand that it takes a minimum of three months to start gaining results and also establishing a certain amount of trust and bond with the firm you have hired. Also while signing contracts make sure you are involving yourself in the right deal according to your company needs and budget. It is always better to renew contracts from time to time so that in cases where you are not really happy with the results of a firm you can always go for another and you are not forced to remain in the deal in spite of improper gains.
THE RIGHT CONTACTS
Make sure the firm you are hiring has a good base of media contacts. Few PR firms tend to be really good at their strategies but they might lack the ability of establishing contacts and making sure your story is given preference over the others. Firms with good media contacts know how to get work done through the right people. Powerful media contacts always help in highlighting and getting your work featured with top priority. So see to that your firm has got who are needed to get to the top!
SIZE OF THE FIRM
TThe PR market is incredibly huge and so is the size of the players. There are top class agencies who charge a bomb and also the smaller but equally good agencies. Now how do you identify who is your right match? We must always consider how much our budget means to the firm. Remember the big clients always go for the bigger agents. However if your budget and needs are much smaller compared to others than feel free to hire the smaller firms who are also equally certain with their quality of work. Also there is the question of how reliable start ups are to hire. Just keep in mind all the tips listed in this article and always be open to giving them a chance, because at most times these are the firms that have the young and fresh breed who are looking for the right opportunity to flourish in the field!
During the process of hiring, we are always faced with a meeting in which the PR firm along with its team prepares itself to convince us and give us the right reasons to get impressed. There are a lot of things you must request and keep in mind during this stage. Apart from drawing input from basic presentation of their strategies for you, presenting you with out of the box ideas, make sure the firm sends the same team who is eventually going to work with you if the deal is finalized. As at times there might be differences at later stages. The team who convinced you with their ideologies at the time of presentation might differ from the actual team who gets involved with you, leading to clash in work and differences in opinions shared initially. Demand consistency in both, the team and the work from start to end.
Dedicate one person from your own team who will be involved with your PR firm at all times. So he/she becomes the face of your company which will help in avoiding confusion and helps in better co-ordination. Since our employees are obviously going to be tied up in key activities of the business, it is ideal if we hire someone who will be part of our team but also has specialized in public relations so as to give us the right input and help us maintain proper standards with our PR firm and get the work done.