PR plays a key function in a successful business. And for PR to be productive you will need to trust more than friendship or basic instincts in choosing an “ideal” PR company. Since public relations are about communication and steering the company towards realistic targets, you must consider a number or crucial and tangible issues.
Be clear that PR cannot be handled just by the firm it is a partnership between you and the PR experts. It is your inputs that will provide the PR firm with direction. You must on your side provide complete and updated information, be available to advice on or check material put together by the firm and spend time with the PR team on ideation. Only when the grounding is laid clearly will PR be successful.
1. The company must have worked for a business such as yours before or have at their fingertips the strategies they will employ to meet your PR objectives.
2. The PR firm must have updated its systems to include all the latest in media and communications.
3. The company must understand your business thoroughly and know in no uncertain terms how much strategic versus tactical support they can provide.
4. Determine whether the staff deployed for your project has both experience as well as expertise. Find out about their successes and failures.
5. Ascertain whether they can comfortably reach out to your target market and if they cab quantify their value.
6. Study the proposals presented by them on your project and use your in depth knowledge of your business and the market to determine to what extent this will work.
7. A dedicated PR firm will not hesitate to disagree with you on any aspects of your plan they are not in agreement with. They know the ins and outs of their business and know what works and what does not.
8. The firm must not just have a series of meetings there should be constant interaction as well as reviews of work undertaken and subsequent results.
9. The contract must be clear and transparent with no hidden clauses. The PR firm must have a system where it clearly understands and then delineates in a contract its responsibilities.
10. Be sure to check their testimonials and credentials. Go through their case studies to determine their efficacy and do some research to find out their standing in the market.
The most apt definition of a PR relationship is that of the Counselors Academy of the Public Relations Society of America. It says, “ a successful relationship between client and public relations firm or counselor has as a fundamental: a match of capabilities and needs, a 100% agreement on objectives, constant and instant accessibility, full information sharing, interaction at all levels, regular updates as well as progress review, and a clear contractual agreement.”