A partnership with a public relations agency is an excellent way to boost your company’s strategic marketing plan without taking away from in-house functions. If your professional services firm is considering up-scaling its PR approach, it may be time to start investigating agencies.
A full-service PR agency can provide the breadth of skills needed for your integrated marketing plan. From press releases to sponsorship packages, to bylined featured articles, a PR agency may help you achieve your publicity objectives and generate new leads for your business. However, not all agencies are a perfect match. Finding the right agency for your company will require a little bit of research.
Hiring a PR agency is a lot like the process of hiring a new employee. Both the company and agency are interviewing each other to find the best fit. Finding the right full-service PR agency may feel like an overwhelming task as each firm operates differently and brings unique approaches and services to its clients. Most firms looking to hire a PR agency want the best public relations agency available, and those agencies have the best relationships with reporters and relevant trade publications. They also have the best pitch writers, ghostwriters, and overall communicators.
Prior to speaking with any agency, your internal team should outline its general criteria and expectations. This will allow you to cross-reference their specialties with your company’s needs. Below are some critical points for consideration in choosing an agency that best aligns with your public relations goals.
One major concern in hiring the right agency would be the financial and non-financial costs associated with the integration. From time commitment to billing to communication, it is important to ensure you establish your company’s desired criteria and find an agency that supports those requirements. Here are the administrative questions to ask a public relations agency that will handle your strategic public relations functions:
Aside from administrative needs, your company should be searching for an agency that understands your brand and the industry at large. For example, a PR agency for startups might require unique marketing approaches that a well-established company might not necessarily need in their PR plan. When speaking with a PR agency, ask for quantitative and qualitative evidence of their experience.
Defining roles when you work with an agency is also very important. Both parties should be aware of their own tasks and responsibilities to avoid overlap or neglect. In most cases, the hired agency will handle day-to-day efforts but a good PR agency-client relationship is both collaborative and communicative.
Depending on the agency, your company will have the opportunity to assist in the public relations process. For example, internal staff members may want to gather information on upcoming projects to send to the agency for press purposes. Similarly, some agencies may offer byline opportunities for professional services firms in which the internal staff may be able to collaborate with the agency throughout the publication process.
It is also important to keep in mind that your company has power in the relationship. Since it is your brand, you may reserve the right for approval or direction. Again, the right public relation agency will work with you for the shared goal of building your platform and bottom line. Hearing about the agency’s processes and experiences will allow you to determine how they may fit into your organization.
Horowitz Agency is a full-service integrated marketing and public agency with over 15 years of experience in the professional services industry. Our team of public relations specialists value a collaborative and aspiration relationship with our clients, and will provide a unique approach to meet your PR needs.
If you are overwhelmed with the upkeep of public relations tasks for your firm or are a new company looking to expand its reach, hiring a public relations firm may be a great option for you. Contact us today to speak to a PR professional about how we can help you achieve your brand goals.