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How to Get the Most Value from Your PR Agency

May 23, 2018 Kelsey Herbers

teamworkCongratulations! You recently made the decision to hire a public relations (PR) firm and found a company that seems to be the perfect fit for handling the day-to-day needs of your account. You’re excited to see all of the ideas and suggestions they have to offer, and you’re even more excited for the results that will come from their efforts.

But now what? If you’ve never worked with a PR agency before, you may not be sure what lies ahead. Do you leave them alone and let them do their own thing? They’re the experts, right?

If you want to truly get the most bang for your buck when it comes to PR, your company’s job isn’t finished the day you hire a firm. While a good PR agency will be proactive about doing its research on your company and industry and in bringing you new opportunities, no one knows your company better than you, and the information you provide will prove much more valuable than anything found on the web.

So how can you be sure you’re getting the most from your agency? Check out our tips below.

Give your PR team a thorough rundown of your company

Providing information on your company should go far beyond the date that it was founded and its key players. How have your services adapted over time? What are some of the challenges you’re facing? Who are your competitors? What are your best-performing products, and what items are currently in the works? What are your top priorities as an organization, and what steps are you taking to reach them? From background information to your vision for the next 20 years, the more details you can provide, the better your agency can be at helping you along the way.

Think of your agency as a division within your own team

If you want to truly get the most bang for your buck when it comes to PR, your company’s job isn’t finished the day you hire a firm.

PR agencies work with you just as much as they work for you. When you think of them as a member of your existing team, it’s easier to remember to keep them in the loop about all of your upcoming projects and potential roadblocks. Let them know how your sales team is doing, including what’s working and what isn’t and any questions that prospects may have. Just like you most likely do with your existing team members, hold regular meetings or calls to ensure that your PR firm stays in alignment with your company’s goals.

Set expectations

When you’re first starting out with your agency, it’s important to discuss the expectations you have for the partnership. Are you focused on getting a specific number of news hits per month, or would you rather have a feature article in a specific publication that hits your consumer base? Are there certain geographic areas or demographics that you want to target? Whatever the case may be, work with your PR firm to set realistic goals. Help them know what’s important to you – be it brand awareness, more visitors to the site, sales or another goal. Additionally, ask your PR team about their goals for media coverage and how long it may take to achieve the level of recognition you want.

Be responsive and accessible

Ongoing communication with your agency is key to getting successful results. To make the communication process smoother, we recommend dedicating one main contact for your company with one person who can work as a backup if the first contact is out. This way, if your PR team receives an interview request from a news outlet and their main contact at your company is on vacation, the backup contact will be available to coordinate the interview so the opportunity isn’t missed. Due to the quick nature of the news media industry, it’s beneficial for someone within your organization to always be accessible.

Be open to new ideas and suggestions

Part of our job as an agency is to constantly read up on your industry and look for creative ways to get your company’s name in the spotlight. A good PR team will come to you with new ideas or potential ways for you to grow. Take the time to listen to and consider the suggestions that are being made, and be open and honest with your feedback. You never know what might come from a seemingly off-the-wall idea.

Interested in learning more about how you can get value from a PR agency? Get in touch with us!

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