There are various aspects of a business that one needs to take care of if one wants to establish your brand. Right from corporate communications, media relations, brand awareness, and publicity, to even reputation management, there are various aspects to take care of when it comes to your business. But looking after each and every aspect can be a little challenging. If you hire a public relations firm, it can take care of all such needs.
A public relations agency will be able to conduct media outreach, execute the objectives of the organization, develop key messages for the target market, and even assist in crisis control, among other things. Since there are so many kinds of PR agencies around, each functioning in a brilliant manner, it can be confusing to choose the right PR firm.
Here, we have discussed a few essential things you must know before hiring a public relations firm. Check it out now.
1. Know Your Business Goals
Every company must have a few purposes in mind for hiring a PR firm. Make a list of a few things that you want to accomplish with your PR agency. For example-
- Successful launch of a product or a service
- Driving product sales
- Make the brand stand out from others
- Create brand-specific terms that audiences can immediately relate with
- Stir more interest in the brand and drive conversations about the brand
- Raise more awareness
- Influence general impressions and reviews regarding a brand
If you have these agendas ready, it is easier to discuss them with a public relations firm and then choose the one that seems to be most convincing about meeting these objectives.
2. Know Your Options
Another thing that you must know is your options for hiring a public relations firm. You should consider all the different types of public relations firms available in the market before making a choice. You can choose among-
- an in-house PR firm
- a PR agency
- a combination of both
All the different types of PR forms come with a specific price tag and also involve different levels of involvement from your company. It is recommended that you should go for a combination of both internal and external PR professionals. While an in-house PR agency will provide you with more knowledge and expertise on the overall marketing strategy of your business, an external public relations firm can build a comprehensive strategy for public relations that will help you grow.
3. Decide on the PR Budget
You must be aware that hiring a public relations agency can be a little hard on your budget. If you do not plan your budget in advance and convey it to your potential PR firms, you will be wasting a lot of time and effort, for both parties. There are some factors you need to keep in mind while determining the budget for your PR firm, such as-
- Base retainer
- Incidentals or expenses
- Back-up for over exceeding the budget
Make sure you choose an agency that you can afford. Otherwise, you will not be able to continue with the company in the long run.
4. Necessary Information for RFPs and Pitches
When you hire a PR firm, you have to undergo a formal RFP process. They will pitch what they are offering and you need to decide on this basis. But it becomes easier if you also know about the information you need in these pitches. Once you have clarity about what you are looking for, it becomes easier to make a choice.
- Make sure the pitch is concise but informative.
- Know the team that will be handling your account to avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding later.
- Check if they understand your brand goals and have their presentation made accordingly.
This will also save you time and energy which can be used for other requirements of your business.
5. The Contract Details
Before signing the contract and hiring a particular public relations firm, you have to make sure that the conditions in the statement of work are agreeable to you. Read the document carefully before signing and if possible, discuss it with your lawyer once. While it is unlikely that the company will be a fraud but it is a safe practice to know your contract front to back.
Review the contract for the following details-
- Expected outcome
- Reports, etc.
If needed, you can always ask for revisions and negotiate the parts that do not work for you.
Now that you know everything you need to hire the right PR agency, you must understand how essential a PR firm is for your brand reputation. But at the same time, you must remember that a PR agency can only work if you are investing in quality products and services and developing sound strategies. A PR agency will enhance the brand but you must build the brand to be worth it.