Tips For Selecting A PR Firm

Posted: Jun 26 2016, 3:48am CDT | by , in News | Advertising News


Tips for Selecting a PR Firm
Photo Credit: Getty Images


Choosing the right PR agency for your brand can be a challenge. With so many PR firms out there, how do you know you are picking the right one? Here is a list of things to consider before signing a contract:

  1. First, think about what your brand needs from its PR agency. What are your goals and how can this agency help you reach them? Whether it is handling crisis communications, creating brand awareness, or highlighting a new product or service, it is important to know the one or more key results you want the agency to deliver before you start looking.

  1. What is the agency’s reputation? That seems like common sense, but sometimes it means doing a little digging. How long has the firm been around? Who are its current and past clients? Do you know anyone who’s worked with the firm? Does it have experience in achieving the goals your brand is trying to accomplish? Can it show you any case studies documenting such successes? Seeing samples of its work and inquiring more deeply into how the agency performs is really important.

  1. Another good way to decide on a firm is to issue a request for proposals (RFP). While this can be time consuming, it can help you compare firms on an apples-to-apples basis. A less formal process than an RFP is simply to ask for a written proposal. This enables you to see how well a firm presents information and the quality of its thinking.

  1. The services a firm offers are another important factor. It means you have to consider what your brand’s needs are. For example, if you need media coaching or other specialized services, some PR agencies may have particular expertise in those areas. If a firm touts its expertise in, for instance, social media, be sure to ascertain the extent of its experience in other services before signing on the dotted line.

  1. Budget is another consideration. While it shouldn’t be the deciding factor, agencies can be expensive, so getting the most out of your investment is important. says you should “make sure you clearly articulate your top-line budget, including base retainer, overages, expenses and incidentals.”

  1. Agency size is something else to think about. Some firms have global capabilities. Public relations firms that specialize in local markets may have particularly good connections, which are crucial if you want to focus on local exposure. Small to medium-sized firms also tend to have more tightly knit teams and may be able to put more focus on your brand than bigger firms with a larger client base.

Overall, tuning into the chemistry between you and the firm is probably one of the most important factors in deciding on an agency. When you’re going to be working closely with a firm, having similar ideas and great chemistry will make for a better professional relationship.

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