If you need to be positioned positively in the eyes of the public, or you have products, services or represent talent that needs a push to get noticed by your target market, you need the services of a good PR firm. Public relations is a very specific area of work that involves a highly refined set of skills and a deep understanding and for positioning things positively in the view of the public.
PR people need to have a great feel for their jobs with a refined sense of when to back off and when to push. They must also know their clients intimately and be able to offer advice that sometimes is not what the client wants to hear, but needs to follow none the less.
Good PR firms get very involved with their clients and insure that their off-line and online reputations are positive and protected. To do this they often bring in outside firms like online reputation repair companies to assist clients in fixing any current bad publicity being spread online about them, and protect against any future bad publicity that might harm a client’s reputation.
Here are other key factors any PR firm you look to hire should possess:
High Energy Work Ethic
The success of a PR firm is directly related to their work ethic. They must work constantly, pitching your business to hundreds of media people every month through phone calls, letters, PR kits, email blasts, personal visits, and trade shows.
Access to Influencers
They must have intimate relationships with influential off-line and online icons who can make things happen for you quickly and decisively. You need to demand that you are given access to these people so they can work their magic for you and your company.
They Should Understand Your Company
The PR firm with a long list of clients and a great track record looks great on paper, but ultimately you are the project so they need to understand your company. Ask them about what they see special in you, your products, services, culture, clients, and then let them talk. Ask them how they would pitch what you want them to sell. They should be prepared to wow you with their answers.
They Should Understand Your Audience and be able to Get to Them
You need a PR firm that understands who you are targeting and knows how to speak to them. If your target market is Millennials for example, they need to speak their language and know the outlets that influence them and be able to get you on those outlets.
Track Record of Working with Companies Like Yours
Never engage a PR company that has not have success stories with companies like yours. A firm may have worked with fortune 500 companies on multi-million dollar campaigns and had huge successes, but if you are a mid-size company with a medium size staff and budget, their successes may not translate. Ask them for relevant success stories that you can look at and place yourself in. If they cannot show you this, you are talking to the wrong company because they will be experimenting with your money to try and find success for you.
Pay attention that they are attentive to your input, questions, and points of view. The right PR firm will want to hear everything you have to say and respond with answers that make you feel they can handle the job.