How to get the most out of your PR agency
Updated: Oct 19
A good PR agency can add huge benefits to your business. They ensure that your communication strategy means you are talking to your existing customers, reaching potential customers and portraying your brand in the best light possible in the marketplace.
But how do you get the most out of your PR agency? Here’s our top tips:
Set a budget – PR is not an overnight miracle, it will take time to build up the required messages. Work out your objectives. Do you need to get your business of the ground or are you more established and need to maintain brand profile? Do you want a one-off news story or an agency working with you on a long term retainer basis?
Brief the agency fully on your products and services – Give them as much information as possible. What are the features and benefits of your product/service? What are the USPs? What is your business and marketing strategy? What previous marketing and PR have you done? How well did it work? Explain about competitors products. A good agency will want to know EVERYTHING!
Give them contact details – allow the agency direct contact to speak with key players within the business. Project Managers, Sales Managers, Customer Service Reps. The more information from as many different angles, the better. Allow them also to contact your customers for information if required.
But…have one person to sign off – if your PR piece needs to be approved by too many people then this will create delay. Authorise one person in your business to sign the PR off for approval to avoid too many conflicting opinions.
Have reasonable expectations of leadtimes – magazines often work a long way in the future with their deadlines. A press release submitted this week may not go to print until 4-6 months down the line. Be conscious of the deadlines the PR agency are working to; miss the deadline by not signing it off/not giving the relevant information and your business may miss out on the feature. Likewise, you may also be subject to extremely short deadlines that your PR company will need urgent information for.
Advertorials and press releases are not the same thing – press releases are not GUARANTEED to be published. Editorial is subject to the mercy of the magazine’s/newspaper’s editor. If another story comes in that is deemed more newsworthy or topical, then yours will get pushed to the back of the queue. Advertorials are paid for with the publication and so will get printed in preference to speculative editorials.
Speak to your PR agency regularly – they cannot magic news stories out of thin air. They will need input from you about the latest products/ site installations/case studies / new members of staff / company news etc. Speak with them (at best) weekly, or monthly at the very least. Treat your PR agency as your business partner. They should come up with lots of ideas, but will need the details from you.
Keep the agency in the loop of other marketing – marketing and PR overlap. If you have marketing activity going out, such as an email campaign or an event, then let the PR agency know. PR and marketing need to be integrated for best results.
Communicate your PR internally – don’t just communicate externally, make sure that any PR that goes out is also distributed to your employees. Staff also need to be kept informed and need to know what news is being sent out as they may be asked about it by customers!
If you need help with your communications strategy and need some one to help deliver it, then contact us about our PR services.