Public Relations is not only about battling negative publicity. Marketing gurus try to portray PR and marketing the two sides of the same coin, but PR has a bigger and faster ROI than advertising. Used well, it can not only build your brand in the eyes of the general public but also create brand awareness, generate new leads and shape the opinions of your future customers.
That’s the reason that especially for growing companies, startups and SMEs, a strategic Public Relations partner is a must. With the help of the right PR expert you can start an organised approach to journalists, bloggers, industry experts and influencers relevant to your industry, ensuring long term, valuable relationships.
However, before you hire a PR expert, you also need to know what to expect to make sure that they’re the right fit for your company and your requirements. Here are some questions that you need to ask yourself before you sign up with a PR expert.
- What are your business goals? Do you want increased sales, higher number of leads or improved brand recognition? Before you approach a PR firm, know and understand these questions and their relevance to the success of your company because you will have to find a PR firm that can align towards what you want and need your future business to look like. A good PR expert will also highlight your strengths and improve the perception about your weaknesses to create a balanced outlook.
- How involved can you be? For PR to be effective and create a comprehensive picture about your company, you will also need to commit a certain amount of your time and effort. No one knows your company better than you do and you have to be ready to be involved in a PR campaign, either at the backend or at the forefront. Being aware of the level of your own involvement, will also help you manage your expectations accordingly.
- What kind of media coverage are you looking for? Are you looking at old-school newspaper coverage or do you want to go all out in new media like blogs and social media influencers? Determining the kind of media coverage that will make the right impact for your business, will help you select the PR partner based on their competence and successful campaigns they have conducted.
- Does your business need ongoing PR support? Before you head out looking for the PR company, understand if your business required ongoing PR support or for a one-off project. If it’s the latter, it’s best to approach a flexible boutique PR company that offers project-per-basis costing. A big PR agency might come with a heavy retainer and may not be the best choice for you, especially if you’re going to be locked into a long-term contract. Opt for the latter only if you know that PR is something that your business needs on an ongoing basis.
Ask the PR Partner