What to look for in a PR firm

Are you about to launch a new product? Do you think that your PR campaign could be working harder? Or are you just curious what a firm would pitch as their recipe for PR success? Here’s what to keep in mind when looking for your perfect match.

·         Who is on the team; who would be handling your account? Is there a danger that after a big sell, your account could be relegated to an intern? You can find out by asking the question: ‘Who will be my main contact?’ The person you speak to should be the one who is pitching to journalists and updating you on coverage.

·         Their portfolio will reveal whether they have helped companies like yours. These clients will have similar goals to you. The firm’s track record will tell you a lot of what you need to know, from the start.

·         Proven success in pitching and placing stories is a must. This is usually top of a client’s wish list, but not everyone gets it right. You need to be confident they can ensure that you’re mentioned in the relevant media channels.

·         What PR campaign are they most proud of? Innovation will help you stand out from your competitors.

·         Check them out on the major social media platforms. Take a look at what they’ve been posting and tweeting, and how they use social media as a marketing tool. Journalists who don’t reply to emails are often open to story pitches sent via Twitter. It’s an essential piece of a PR’s toolkit.

·         As ‘inbound marketers’, their work in SEO, content and social media will be part of a clear strategy – the big picture. They’ll know how to enhance your brand online, make your content more appealing to your audience, drive traffic to your website, select the best social media to use, and improve your website’s ranking.

·         They need to know the secrets to a blog that will have your customers coming back for more. Take a look at their blog and those of the brands they promote to see how they make use of this powerful medium.

·         Get them to share the biggest lesson learned in the past six months. Good agencies are always looking to evolve and improve. In a fast-changing world, no agency can afford to stand still.

·         Lastly, do you have good chemistry? If you feel you can trust them, and they understand your brand, this means your campaign has potential for success from the start.