For business founders or in-house marketers who have never hired a PR agency before, it can be difficult to know who to work with, especially when it’s a crowded area with lots of agencies competing for business.
There’s no one clear path for deciding which PR agency to work with but there are a number of things you should consider before you seal the deal. These are:
- Can they deliver great results? A decent PR agency should be able to generate great results for its clients and be able to show examples of past successes. You should always ask the agency you’re talking to if you can see some. At Radioactive PR, we share case studies of our great work on our website and social channels.
- What experience do they have? It’s always worth looking at an agency’s client and team experience to understand the sectors they’ve worked in before, and more importantly what services it delivers (and what it does well). Some companies might be swayed towards working with a specialist consultancy (one who works with sector-specific clients) rather than a generalist one. Today it’s more valuable to know what goals you want to achieve – e.g. generate lots of sign-ups (to an event, to register interest etc.) or increase traffic to your site – and work with an agency who has successfully achieved that for its clients in the past.
- What is the agency’s digital credentials? Closely linked to the two previous points, a PR agency with a strong digital offering is essential in today’s media landscape, given everything is online. It’s also much easier to measure success when it comes to digital activity and hold an agency to task if they don’t deliver.
- Does the PR agency have a good industry reputation? A good way of determining this is whether credible people in the industry or your trusted contacts say good things about the agency (e.g. they have recommended them to you or have heard positive things about them) and what the agency’s current and past clients say. Another useful indicator is whether the consultancy has won or been shortlisted for awards before.
- Do you like the team and think you can trust them to do a good job? Once you’ve seen some good examples of what the agency can do and it has made some good suggestions about what it will do for your business, you should ask yourself: do you like the team? If you do and you feel you could trust them to do a good job, even at the early stages, then you’re on the right track. The client and agency must work well together – otherwise this could hamper the chances of some good work and results being delivered!
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