Public Relations (PR) is not only about battling negative publicity. Marketing gurus try to portray PR and marketing as the two sides of the same coin, but PR has a more extensive 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 why a strategic Public Relations partner is a must, especially for growing companies, start-ups, and SMEs. 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 you need to ask yourself before signing up with a PR expert.
- What are your business goals? Do you want increased sales, more leads, or improved brand recognition? Before you approach a PR firm, know and understand these questions and their relevance to your company’s success because you will have to find a PR firm that can align with what you want and need your future business to look like. A good PR expert will also highlight your strengths and improve your perception of your weaknesses to create a balanced outlook.
- How involved can you be? No one knows your company better than you do, and you must be ready to be involved in a PR campaign, either at the back end or at the forefront. For PR to be effective and create a comprehensive picture of your company, you will also need to commit a certain amount of your time and effort. Knowing your level of 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 media coverage that will make the right impact for your business will help you select the PR partner based on their competence and the successful campaigns they have conducted.
- Does your business need ongoing PR support?Before you head out looking for a PR company, understand if your business requires ongoing PR support or 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 locked into a long-term contract. We recommend opting for the latter only if you know that PR is something your business needs on an ongoing monthly