Five reasons not to hire a PR firm

Five reasons not to hire a PR firm

15/02/2013 15:22:29

As a business we’ve been around for 25 years and as a team we’ve got more than 100 years’ experience. In that time we’ve worked with a wide range of businesses and organisations where PR has been hugely effective. 

But PR doesn’t work for everyone. Hiring a new PR firm is an investment. Like all investments, it should only be made after careful research, with realistic expectations and clear agreement on what success will look like.

If any of the following five statements apply to you, don’t hire a PR firm.

1. You don't have a clear idea how you will measure results

Too often a company's first foray into the PR world goes awry because they only have a vague definition of what success will look like or how it will be determined.

If you're looking for a major instant boost in sales, your face on the front page of the Sunday Times, or repeat appearances on national television, you're probably heading down the wrong path.

Successful PR results differ by company and objectives. Know your objectives before signing with the agency, or work out your objectives with them. And if the agency can't help you figure out what success looks like for your business, move on. Find another firm. Always establish clear metrics and set specific goals.

2. You feel compatible with one agency... but another one is 25% cheaper

The best agency for your company has smart people you feel comfortable with, a leader and team you can partner with, trust and spend lots of time with. If an agency doesn’t tick those boxes, the chance is it’s not the agency for you, no matter how "competitive" the rates.

Feeling comfortable with the team that will be actively promoting your business, day in, day out, is critical for a successful PR programme. You must see your agency as a partner, in the true sense of the word, if you hope to achieve your objectives.

3. You can't picture the agency providing strategic counsel

Great PR firms are more than people with good media contacts who can generate publicity. They must be able to understand your business, your values and overall business strategy, not just provide written content and media coverage.

Make them prove they understand your industry, can speak your language, can offer advice that enhances your current and future marketing objectives, can advise you in a crisis and see themselves as professional consultants who provide added value to your firm.

4. You don’t have the time or inclination to invest in developing new ideas

A proactive agency will stay in regular contact with you and challenge you with new ideas. You will need to invest time in keeping the agency informed of internal developments and allocate time to review and approve new initiatives, PR plans and content.

5. You don't view the relationship as a true partnership

If you don't believe in the philosophy of outside agency partnerships, don't hire a reputable public relations firm. If you consider a PR firm as an arms-length supplier, and expect the team to work in isolation with no input from you and your team then you shouldn’t expect relevant or proactive ideas.

Working together, as partners, is the most effective way of achieving amazing PR success - and to reach the goals you have for your business

If you're looking for a PR agency you can work in partnership with, we could be the agency for you.

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