Expert Tips to Consider When Selecting a PR Provider:
Hiring a public relations expert is considered both a long term investment as well as a potentially costly one. Thoroughly researching your options is the first step towards making any PR services decisions. Below are tips that will help your company navigate smoothly through the selection process:
- Who is handling the account? If your company decides to hire an agency, learn more about specifically who will be working on your account. Is it a recent college graduate with little experience or an old pro? What is their expertise?
- Action: Regardless of who is hired, you will want someone whom springs into action and is actively looking for new ways to promote your company. They should be coming up with new venues to post information about your company and clearly keep up-to-date with new social media tools, etc.
- Objectives: A clear list of tangible objectives that are aimed at achieving and promoting a specific company goal will ensure that your PR efforts are not in vain. Churning out a bunch of articles without a particular plan does not count, but putting these articles into particular sites that drive search engine optimization efforts is a valid objective.
- Guarantees: A public relations expert knows that very rarely (almost never) can they “guarantee” article placement. If a company “guarantees” a particular location for their articles, be leery of this statement as they may not be a trustworthy vendor.
- Teamwork: Public relations efforts must be done in conjunction with your sales/marketing efforts. Although they individually serve distinct purposes, these departments cannot be viewed as islands. It is important that their efforts are intertwined to best represent your company.
- “Doing it Yourself”: Rather than hiring a professional, some companies prefer to do their own public relations. Although some are successful, it can result in utter failure. Some public relations responsibilities would include maintaining and continuously producing new content for web, crafting a long term public relations plan, responding to crisis situations and producing high-quality written materials. This is just the tip of the iceberg for potential projects and it can be a lot to do. Some of these projects will inadvertently fall to the way side. If it too large of a project, leave it to the public relations experts.
- Audience: Always keep the intended audience in mind. Different projects may require a different focus or tone. Material aimed at investors may be different than material for clients.
A strong public relations campaign has the ability to transform the way your company is externally perceived. Having a clear long-term goal will help implement effect strategies. As when hiring any potential vendor or employee, learn about their strengths, previous work experience and expertise. Your PR team should have industry specific experience, strong media contacts and offer an array of skills.