How to Pick the Right PR Firm for Your Company
Synopsis: Picking the right PR firm can make or break your campaign. You need to be able to communicate with you representatives. You also need trusted advisors who will tell you when they feel you’re steering off base or making a wrong move. If you pick wisely, this could be the start of a successful and profitable relationship.
You’ve decided it’s time to launch your PR campaign. You’re ready to move forward. Now you need to figure out who your public relations partner in this journey is going to be. Believe me, it is a journey (and can be a great one) and in the best of cases the PR company that you choose is going to be functioning as a trusted partner, at least in this one arena. But how do you pick a firm that fits your particular needs?
The first mistake that you want to avoid is to only consider companies that specialize in your field. You definitely want to consider them in the mix, but what you’re primarily looking for is a firm that knows PR, that knows how to develop and place stories in the media, if they’re good, they can use their expertise and know-how and apply that to any field. Remember, PR is a communication business, for it to truly work, you need to be able to comfortably communicate with them and they need to expertly craft your message and communicate that to the media. The following are a few topics to consider and questions to ask, when interviewing a PR firm.
Questions to ask your potential PR firm:
1) How long have they been in business and which media outlets have they placed stories in?
2) How they would define a successful campaign. Get a sense of their mindset and how they view the process. Discuss how you would define success and see if there is a common thread.
3) How do they work when it comes to developing story ideas? Are they looking for you to do all of the work? Are they asking you for the story ideas and then simply turning those into pitches or are they a firm that will work with you to develop creative and unique pitch ideas?
4) What do they see as your campaign’s greatest potential strengths?
5) What do they think will be the greatest challenges? All campaigns offer challenges. You want to make sure that the firm you pick sees them, has an approach to deal with them. You also want to make sure that this is not a firm that is going to tell you that it will be easy, a slam dunk. You want a contrasted confidant who will work with you, not a cheerleader that avoids the real issues.
6) Why do they want to work with you and why do they think it would be a good fit? Find out why they’d be excited to work with you. You need to know that they are excited by the campaign and why.
These are just some questions to ask. I’m sure you’ll have others. Also keep in mind if it feels like a good fit. You need to be able to communicate with you representatives. You also need trusted advisors who will tell you when they feel you’re steering off base or making a wrong move. If you pick wisely, this could be the start of a successful and profitable relationship.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2009