Welcome to 5Qs, a series highlighting the must-ask questions for a successful agency search. Let’s find your next PR firm together.
Hiring a public relations firm can be a difficult decision because you never know what the outcome of a campaign will be. But with a successful PR campaign, it can be a total game changer for your company. So, with the help of Agency Spotter, getting to a shortlist of PR firms is easy. The challenging part is picking the right agency for you. Here are five important questions you need to ask before finding your next PR partner:
What experience do you have in my industry?
Selecting a PR firm that specializes or has experience in your industry will help in several different areas and make a big difference for your company. First, there will be less of a learning curve, and the agency will already have built relationships with media and publications in that specific industry. Next, you’ll have some references and can see the type of work they did with a similar business to start setting expectations.
How do you measure results?
If a PR firm guarantees you results, run! They are probably not a good fit for you or anyone. This is because editorial placement and social media can be hard to guarantee. So it’s important to sit down with your agency partner and define what a successful campaign will be and which metrics are most important.
This is a great time to ask for the agency’s placement for previous clients in a similar field. Ask about their circulation strategies and see what types and level of publications they have worked with.
What is your timeline?
Editorial placements can take a couple months to lock down, so establishing a rough timeline can be a great way to set deadlines on needed materials and open lines of communication.
It is incredibly important to be in contact with your agency throughout the whole process, so that you know what they are working on, placements they have secured, and new opportunities. Some PR firms will run with what you give them and do most of the leg work. But, others PR firms work best when you have a dedicated resource doing day to day work alongside the PR firm’s efforts.
Talk to your agency at least once a week, and ask for monthly reports.
Will I be working with the A Team?
You want to work with the best possible talent at every agency or at least the people who are experts in your industry. Meet the team you will be working and see if they are the right fit for your company.
Securing a team with the best talent who have access to the best contacts, write the best press releases, and are experts in social will save you a ton of headache down the road. Make sure the team you’re working with meets your standards, and you should be set.
What are your social and digital media strategies for my campaign?
With social and digital media becoming really important factors to PR campaigns, it is important to know if the agency has the capabilities to handle social and digital, and if they are up-to-date on the latest trends and platforms.
Ask them to show you their plan to incorporate social and digital into your campaign. Have them show you specific examples of how they used social and digital media for PR with previous clients.
- Remember, writing a press release does not, in itself, get you press.
- Clearly define if the PR firm will own the media relationships fully or if someone from your team be able to nurture those relationships too.