What’s a guy gonna do? You’ve interviewed several PR firms and they all seem good but that’s the problem they all seem good. Here’s a sure-fire way to gauge to determine who is IN or who is OUT (Hat tip to Heidi Klum for the catch phrase).
- They indicate a need for more and more time to integrate and learn your business;
- They switch the creative team they outlined in your proposal;
- They don’t provide you with a solid strategy based on the scope of work promised;
- They start off with a flash-in-the-pan feature in a large media, but stall afterwards.
- They cannot definitively show you how to measure the ROI of PR, run.
Okay so now you know what to look for when casting your net and avoiding the PR highwaymen. What is it should a PR firm actually be doing for you?
The simplicity is that PRs should be getting earned publicity for their clients – LOTS OF IT. Long standing tradition is write a news release that has relevant and valuable news describing the value of the product or service….but that is the lazy, lazy approach and doesn’t work in the main. Bottom-line, PR firms have to do a vast amount of marketing research on the ever-changing media industry as they are fulfilling the needs of the journalists they are addressing while simultaneously, portraying the clients in the best possible angles.
Communication and media channels have changed drastically since 2009 and especially with the advent of social media, the media landscape has become more segmented and super segmented… but basically the PR professional is doing the above – crafting stories about the clients, getting others excited and involved in communicating about you. That’s utilizing third-party credibility to the MAX.
In order to be an effective Public Relations Professionals, we look at twelve key points. A few of them are listed below, and you can read the rest here:
- Owns the process. Your agency should be a professional nagger—they should never let you be the reason for a missed deadline.
- Pushes back. You are hiring a PR firm for its expertise, so find one that provides firm recommendations.
- Makes it happen.
- Surprises you with unexpected and creative ideas. Your PR firm should march to the beat of the PR plan, but they should also bring you unexpected and creative ideas.
- Look for an agency that is pushing you, not the other way around.
- Writes well. Content marketing has changed PR forever.
- Listens intently. PR people are renowned great talkers. However, we need to know how to listen, too.
- You need a PR agency team that can imagine what it’s like to be you. What pressures do you face internally, from your board, from competitors, others?
- Thick skin. PR people sit in the middle of two constituents whose goals are not always aligned: the media and our clients.
Finding the common ground that creates successful outcomes for both requires an ability to handle discord well. If you follow the above points on selecting a great PR, you should do well. Knock ‘em dead.