Launching a new product and trying to raise a brand’s profile within a competitive industry is challenging, so many businesses consider appointing a PR agency to manage reputation and increase brand awareness. With a range of specialities and niche areas within the PR industry, it can be difficult to choose a company that is best suited to a business’ needs. However, with transparency and clarity, campaigns can be run well and the desired results achieved.
Initially, the starting point for any company should be to assess what role an agency will play in developing a brand’s reputation and relationship with consumers, other businesses and the media. Once an outcome has been decided, brands can then set about finding the agency most suited to their requirements.
To avoid costly disappointment, it’s important to have realistic expectations when appointing a new PR agency. It is advisable to agree campaign prices and set budget limitations so that work can be created within realistic restraints.
Create a Brief
Asking potential PR agencies to interpret a brief can help businesses assess how well the agency understands the task, the standard of execution and the typical turnaround time. Brands can also obtain an understanding of the agency’s experience within their sector and gauge the extent of any relevant, established connections they may already have in place.
Keep Options Open
Having multiple options when considering which PR company to appoint can help brands make an informed choice. Initial conversations with a number of companies can lead to a shortlisted selection being formed, following which a brief can be assigned to help ascertain the top candidates. This allows businesses to compare potential agencies’ performance and determine which strategy best suits them.
Whilst an agency might perform well when presented with a brief, it’s also worth looking into their domain authority and their previous clients to assess their reputation within the industry. For small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are expanding rapidly, or businesses with upcoming product and service launches, it’s worth evaluating how the PR company will handle larger, more demanding campaigns. It could save businesses from going through the process of finding another PR company further down the line.
Equally as important as looking into campaign evolution, businesses should consider the range of services offered by the PR company in the instance that they may wish to run PR operations alongside social media or search engine optimisation strategies.
To get the most out of a PR campaign, there should be a mutual understanding of what is required, utmost respect between the brand and the agency and frequent dialogue between both parties. Creativity and chemistry are usually felt in initial meetings; but by following a process similar to the points above, businesses will have an idea of the strength of the professional working relationship.
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