5 Important Factors to Think About When Hiring a PR Agency
Whether you are opening a new restaurant or launching a clothing line, the thought will cross your mind to engage a PR agency. Before you do, we encourage you to think about what is important to you in an agency. We have rounded up our top 5 priorities to look out for when engaging a PR firm.
Red Adair, historic American firefighter once said, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, just wait until you hire an amateur.” Cutting corners when it comes to your business, will only result in losses later on. Invest in professionals and your business will thank you for it. Proper client communication is of the utmost importance when it comes to professionalism between agency and client. If you do not see this respect from the very beginning, you will likely see it lacking at many touch points throughout your engagement. Other important questions to ask when selecting a professional agency include: Is there proper process and structure in place? Has the agency set clear expectations for both parties? Will your account have senior leadership overseeing all deliverables and projects? Do you have clarity on roles and responsibilities? Good PR requires a good relationship between client and agency which requires time, contribution and commitment from both sides.
Product launches and restaurant openings can happen in the blink of an eye and this will urge you to hire an agency as quick as you can. Hiring an agency because it’s convenient for right now, could cost you more work in the future. Think thoughtfully about who you want to work with and why you want to work with them. Additionally, many agencies will charge a premium for rushed projects, so if you can plan early and often, you can save yourself the headache of additional costs and improper hiring.
As with most relationships, 90% of good client/agency relationships are formed because you actually like the person. The client and agency values must align to ensure everyone is on the same page. By beginning the relationship with a generously timed discovery meeting, expectations can be made clear in order to be achieved. Once this relationship is formed, it's the responsibility of the agency to uphold its promise of good work and meet deadlines. The big caveat here is that hiring an agency is a two way street. You will get the most value from working with a PR agency when you put the work in too, and provide them with regular updates, objectives, and developments. Don’t forget that everyone benefits from constructive feedback. If the agency is doing great work, tell them. If they are falling short, tell them.
Offering multiple services under one roof can be extremely beneficial to your company. Be wary of engaging multiple agencies to complete a project, when it could actually be done more effectively with one.
Blue Door agency offers public relations, crisis communications, digital marketing, content creation, graphic design, and branding all under one creative roof. Testimonials from our clients have shown extreme satisfaction when utilizing all of our verticals and where public relations and digital strategies are built and executed together.
When working with an agency, trust is of the utmost importance. If you set the expectations for a clear and honest discussion at the beginning, everyone will benefit. Ensure you ask the right questions to the agency including:
- Do you charge mark-ups on printing, press releases, or media buys?
- Do you anticipate using external contractors to execute this project and will that impact my fees?
- What is the cancellation policy if the arrangement doesn't work out?
- Who will be the lead on the file? Is it the team presenting or junior coordinators?
- What extra fees can I expect each month?
- What type of confidentiality agreements do we have in place?
- Are there any conflicts of interest that we should be aware of?
Choosing an agency to support your marketing and advertising objectives is a great move. There are so many qualified, professional agencies to choose from. We hope this helps as a guideline of what to look for when selecting your agency!
“At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.” – Lawrence Bossidy