PR today is typically being done wrong and it’s starting to make the industry look bad. Here are the 7 tips to choosing a PR firm that knows how to operate in the modern world.
By Karla Jo Helms
If you are asking yourself whether or not you really need a PR company it is probably because you are among the high percentage of people who view PR as a gamble because you never really know what results you are going to get for the money you invest. This perception may have transpired because you had a PR professional in the past that did not really understand the industry or you worked with a PR company that had no idea how to put together an effective PR campaign that would ensure an increase in your return on investment.
If you do not know what to look for in a PR company, the chances are better that you will get a company that creates a lot of busywork for your business without getting any results. One the other hand, if you know how to choose a PR company that knows the industry inside and out you will be astounded by the results they can produce for your business. Here are a few tips on how to choose an accomplished PR company that will get results:
Tip 1: More than One Avenue of Promotion
If the company has only one avenue of promotion such as sending out press releases, move on with your search. A PR company who knows their job will create more than one avenue of publicity and have a strategy for each avenue of PR. This gets the message out to your target audience and makes a huge impact.
Tip 2: Great PR Will Start with an Idea
Before they design a PR strategy a PR company will want to know a lot of details such as who, what, when, where, why and how. True PR pros are very curious people. For example, if you want to establish a company that offers a certain product, what is the reason you want to establish the company and why you do you want to offer the product? Is your vision to enhance the lives of others? How? What is the mission statement for your company and how do you want to establish your brand? These are just a few examples. An established PR company will understand that PR begins with an idea. And getting that idea across to your target market so they are more receptive to your marketing message is the beauty of PR.
Tip 3: Interview and Evaluation
You cannot possibly create a rock-solid PR campaign if you do not know who you are talking to. Knowledgeable PR professionals will ask you many questions about your company’s business process, its mission, your goals and objectives, and the results of your market research as well as any other information which will help them tailor a campaign to meet your company needs. They will also do a complete evaluation of your company and if there are any weaknesses they will design a campaign to improve the vulnerability.
Tip 4: PR and Marketing Are Separate but Go Hand-in-Hand
According to recent studies, there are a lot of people who think that PR and marketing are one and the same. This is the main reason they never get results from a PR campaign. Both PR people and business people sometimes believe this, but experienced PR professionals know that PR and marketing are two completely different animals and by the same token go together to provide the best return on investment.
Tip 5: PR Precedes Marketing
A PR company that delivers results knows that PR is all about getting people to think the way you want them to think before you market your product. At the same time, if you have already started marketing your product because you were unaware you should have been doing PR first, the PR company can pick up where you left off and design a PR strategy that will boost your current marketing tactics and your company reputation.
Tip 6: Traditional Media and Digital Media
In today’s digital world you cannot run a business without someone asking you, “So what is your website address?” If you are not involved with digital media you are leaving money on the table. For this reason, the PR company that you choose should be well-versed in both traditional media and digital media because it is imperative to know what works and what doesn’t before you establish an online presence.
Tip 7: The Importance of Profitable Images
When you consider hiring a PR company they should have a grasp on the power of profitable images. These are events, articles, endorsements, awards, etc. that are sought after and created which add credibility to your company image and plant a favorable illustration of your company in the minds of your target market. Establishing profitable images requires a strategy just like the other avenues of promotion for your PR campaign.
PR gets a bad rap because people often have trouble telling the difference between a PR company that just creates noise and a PR company that can ensure results. So, as you can see, it is really worth the investment to do it right the first time around by choosing a well-groomed PR company who can significantly increase your visibility as well as your return on investment.