Public relations can benefit your organization in a number of ways from elevating brand awareness to enhancing brand credibility to keeping your target audience engaged to generating leads to maintaining your positive reputation and navigating crises, just to start. But what’s the biggest challenge standing between you and those benefits? Finding the right public relations agency to do the job. No pressure, right? Don’t worry, R goal is to make this process much easier. Here’s what you should be asking when hiring a public relations agency.

Public Relations Agency

  1. What’s your specialty? – This is two-fold in that a public relations agency may not only specialize in certain services but also certain industries. For example, we R a lifestyle public relations agency which means we specialize in brands within industries that include restaurant, hospitality, and retail as well as health and wellness. And while we are full-service, R sweet spots so to speak are media and influencer relations, crisis communications, and social media. Make sure you choose the agency that aligns most closely with your industry and your public relations goals.
  2. Who will I be working with day-to-day? – It’s often the case, particularly with larger public relations agencies, that they’ll send their senior team to woo potential clients, then once you’ve signed, you’ll find you’re working with junior staff on your campaigns. Not only is this important in terms of experience and expertise, but also when it comes to chemistry because you need to click with your public relations team in order to work most effectively. And you won’t know that until it’s potentially too late (after you’re in a contract) if the team you meet initially isn’t who you’ll work with daily. That’s actually a big advantage of boutique public relations firms, like ours, in that the team you sign with is the team you work with from beginning to end. 
  3. Who are your clients? – This is another two-fold question as here you want to determine the public relations agency’s credibility and you want to know if those clients are similar to your organization. For example, if they primarily work for Fortune 100 companies with large budgets and you’re a start-up with barely any budget to spare that might not be a good fit. Not just from a budget perspective, but also because a successful PR strategy for a Fortune 100 company would likely be very different than the approach that would be most successful for you. Ask for referrals, case studies, and/or examples of their work, too. We R proud of our clients’ successes and love to share our work. If a public relations agency isn’t, that should be a red flag.
  4. How do you work? – Public relations is all about relationships, and not just with the media, the client-agency relationship is just as important. Not only do you need that chemistry we talked about earlier but you want to be on the same page in terms of working style as well. Have them outline their process from the start of a project or campaign to the end. Find out how often you’ll communicate as well as the primary means of communication. If the agency lives and dies by Slack and you prefer phone calls, there may be an issue. R approach is to be a collaborative partner that is flexible, and adaptable to how the client is most comfortable working. However, often the larger the public relations agency, the more rigid the process. Lastly, make sure you understand how you’re billed for time.
  5. How do you measure success? – PR is a fluid industry. What works today may not work tomorrow as consumers, the media, and technology are constantly changing. That’s why R public relations agency measures and tweaks relentlessly. It’s the only way to succeed. Not only for the agency to prove their worth but for you to achieve your goals and validate the PR spend. Yes, we know sometimes it’s still like pulling teeth to get the c-suite to allocate budget to public relations. As such find out not only how potential agencies measure success (metrics), but also how often they report results as well as how you can utilize those results collaboratively to make decisions.

R team would love to help your organization achieve all the benefits of PR.  Learn more about our public relations services and schedule your FREE Discovery Call today!