Choosing a PR agency can be a complex task, but if you choose the right one, your business could see significant growth. Below are 8 questions to ask prospective PR agencies:
Do you specialise in a specific industry?
PR agencies come in all shapes and sizes. Some specialise in travel and tourism, others in property, and others in sports and entertainment. Its paramount you choose an agency that understands your business and the industry that it’s in. If you choose a PR agency that understands your industry, they will know the best channels to utilise to get exposure for your business. If you can’t find a PR agency that has experience in your industry, choose one that has worked in an industry that parallels yours.
How will you communicate with me?
How often will they communicate with you and what methods will they use to do this (e.g. phone, email or face to face meetings). Most importantly of all, find out the availability of the PR consultants and the specific times you can contact them.
What does our contract include?
As with any contract, you need to define the basic terms that it includes and confirm this with the PR agency that you decide to hire. It’s important to know exactly how much you be charged for each service, the last thing you will want is to be charged extra for services that you thought were included in the contract. On what date of each month will you be invoiced and what will the payment terms of the agreement be?
How are results measured?
When you invest in the services of a PR agency, you want to know that you are both in agreement with how results are measured. Some PR agencies will measure return on investment based on the price of an advert placement. For example, if a PR agency manages to land you an interview with a magazine, they might value that at the same value as full-page advert within that same magazine.
Can you list some of your clients that are similar to us?
Don’t just ask about clients that they have had before you. Ask them about clients they have worked with who were similar to you in terms of size, industry and service offering. Ask them if they can provide case studies for you to look at. If possible, get in touch with their past clients and ask them about the quality of the service they received and the value that the PR firm has brought to their business.
Who will be working on my account?
All agencies have different methods of staffing accounts, and it can be useful to meet the specific person who will be your main point of contact during your PR campaign. Knowing who will be working on your account will also give you an idea of what your day to day relationship with the PR agency will be like.
What can you tell me about my competitors and my customers?
The majority of companies would give preference to an agency that is proactive in learning about the client’s competitors and target market over an agency that is only focused on selling itself. Going that extra mile to learn about your competitors and target market will show that the agency thinks analytically. After all, if they can’t tell you about your competitors, they haven’t done enough research into your market.
Which media channels are best for reaching my target audience?
Whether its promotion via the internet or traditional media, your PR firm should have an idea of which newspapers and websites will be best for reaching your target demographic. If possible, try and choose an agency that has experience with both new and traditional media. This will allow you to add variety to your campaigns.