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How to brief a PR Agency

February 1, 2018
Posted in Blog
February 1, 2018 sarah

Questions you must ask a PR Agency and what to consider before you decide to engage them.

Choosing the right PR agency for your business can be a minefield. There are certainly plenty to choose from, but how do you know if they are the right fit for you? What do you need to consider before signing up?

Think of PR as a the top of your marketing funnel and your customer touch points. You know that you must touch your prospective customers a few times before they engage and buy and there are many ways to do that.  PR is one of the most powerful.

If done right, PR touches prospects in the media they consume and world they live in every day. It’s not easy, there’s a huge amount of competition and noise out there but the right agency will understand your business and use creativity to break through the noise and get you noticed.

So how do you decide on the right agency? What information do you need to give them and what should you be asking?

1. Before you do anything else decide on your objectives.

What are you looking to achieve? PR isn’t just about media coverage, it’s also about improving your reputation and raising your profile. You might want to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website, win an award, get a thought leadership piece in the press or get attention for a specific product or programme and so on.

2. Decide whether you want a RFP (request for proposal) or not. 

You may decide to hire an agency that you know or have heard good things about. It would save you a great deal of time and prior relationships or referrals are always great. However, if you are new to this or looking for a completely new approach then you should consider the RFP process. After you have chosen a minimal number of Agencies, you’ll will need to give them a brief, so define, your business, what you want them to do and your goals. Invite them in to present their ideas. You’ll get a feel for the team and the agency and if you connect with them.

3. Decide on your budget.

Sounds simple enough but be clear on any additional costs and expenses that may be incurred, so check this out. We can do as much or as little as the client wants and there are many different approaches depending on needs, so you will need to be specific on budget so that ideas can be tailored for you.

4. Who do you want to reach?

Your PR campaign will only work if there is a focus on the right audience. Be clear on who you are trying to reach. For example, is the audience local or national, consumers or business?

5. Decide on the size of the agency for your business.

Large agencies have a more global reach but they’re expensive and unless you’re paying big fees will not always put their best team on your account. Smaller boutique agencies have a greater regional and UK knowledge and tend to put senior people on your account.

6. Check their credentials.

Ask to see examples of their work (press releases, byline articles and so on) especially if they specialize in PR for your industry. Check who they’re working with to make sure there is no conflict of interest.

7. Ask who will be managing the account and who your contact will be.

Chemistry is important. Your PR agency will be an extension of your team so you need to gel with the individuals and be able to work with them.

8. Make sure there is a good reporting process in place so that you are kept well informed of results.

These tips will help you make the right decision when choosing a PR agency for you business.