All businesses in all markets need public relations. After all, PR is how you communicate your brand’s message to your audiences, and ultimately how you grow your business by boosting awareness, validation and credibility. But PR agencies aren’t one size fits all. In fact, offerings and approaches vary quite a bit. This means that if you’re looking for a New York public relations agency (or any other), you have a wide variety of models from which to choose. Whatever your PR goals, here are some things to keep in mind when trying to find the right public relations agency in New York, Los Angeles or anywhere in between.
Public relations encompasses many different kinds of work, and you need to be clear on which aspects are priority for your particular business or professional services firm. Getting specific about your own needs and goals is a crucial first step to finding a public relations agency that’s going to be a match. For example, maybe you want help with:
Size aside, various agencies really do perform in different ways. There are generalist PR agencies that do a little bit of everything and others that specialize and are more targeted. Therefore, a crystal clear understanding of your specific PR needs is key. Also, think about how you want the partnership to be structured, i.e. how do you want to work together and with what cadence?
Understanding your budget will help you further streamline your target list of agencies. If you’re working with a limited budget, a public relations consultant is worth considering. A boutique agency may also provide some affordable options tailored to your specs. Those with a robust budget may find that a larger full-service agency is a fit.
Yes, Google is right at your fingertips, but other kinds of research are just as valuable, if not more so. Start by connecting with professional contacts whom you trust to hear their experiences and recommendations. If you belong to any professional networks, learn who those people have hired. Then, with referrals in hand, do your own legwork as you would with any vendor. Browse the agencies’ websites. Ask to see what results they’ve achieved for their past and current clients – and reach out directly to these clients to hear from them firsthand. LinkedIn is an excellent resource for gathering a lot of data in one spot and reviewing endorsements. Online reviews on Google and Yelp can help you formulate questions and flag any potential concerns. And, of course, explore whether the agency has any media presence and in what context; you’re feeling out expertise, credibility and reputation.
An in-person meeting is ideal, but video conferencing works perfectly well, too, and is increasingly common as businesses collaborate remotely. The point is not only to ask all your questions, but to see whether you connect and have any chemistry together. How easy is it to communicate with them? Do you like their personality? Are they energized by your goals and the work in general? Do they “get” your business and understand your brand voice and brand goals? If you work together, you’d be partners, so there should be a rapport. Also, if they’ve done their research on your company, they should be able to generate some initial ideas to share with you.
Your prospective PR professionals should create for you a detailed plan that lays out a roadmap for how they would work with you. It should include a summary of objectives, strategies, key performance indicators (KPIs), timelines and budget. This ensures that you and they are in sync. Note that the timeliness and thoroughness of the proposal itself provides a window onto their working style.
Finding the right public relations agency is a little like dating. You’re considering all kinds of measurable factors, but also paying attention to chemistry, energy and personality match. With all of this in mind, you’ll be able to make a well-informed choice when selecting a New York public relations agency – or one anywhere else. And the research is worth your time, since a strong partnership will lead to increased brand success.
Horowitz Agency is highly rated as one of the top marketing and public relations agencies in New York and throughout the country. Our talented team crafts customized, unique PR approaches catered to our clients’ specific needs. Connect with us to discuss whether your firm should consider onboarding a full-service public relations agency.