It’s not uncommon these days for a business to hire a public relations firm. Many times, even when a business is doing well, there is still a need to establish a deeper connection with your target audience. One of the things that a lot of companies struggle with is how to make the connection they need to make with the correct people. Hiring a public relations firm is a good way to bridge the gap between your business and your audience.
When you’ve made the decision that you’re ready to enlist the help of a PR firm, there are some checkpoints that will help you in hiring the right gal (or guy, or, both) for the job.
- Have a clear understanding of your business goals. Make sure that you and your team know exactly what it is that you want to accomplish this year in terms of your business. Before hiring a PR person, you should know what goals are close to being met and what goals still need to be worked on. Once you decide to get down and dirty with PR, be willing to communicate those goals to your friendly neighborhood PR pro. Once they know what it is that you want to accomplish, they’ll be able to devise a campaign that works in tandem with your goals.
- Do your homework. This has a double meaning. Before you make the leap to contact a PR firm, make sure you have done your research on what PR actually is (and no, it’s not marketing or advertising, although they do work together). At least be knowledgeable of the basics, which will help tremendously in the long run (trust me, you’ll thank me later). The second part– research the different firms in your area. There might be a PR company in your neighborhood that specifically serves businesses in your particular industry. They’ll more than likely be just as pumped about your brand as you are.
- Check your expectations. Before you commit to anything, make sure you have realistic expectations of how public relations can impact your business. If you know that you want to increase sales, it’s not realistic to expect that within the third month of working with a PR firm, your bottom line will hit $1B. Make sure you understand that PR efforts do take time. Just like planting a garden. You plant the seeds and you don’t immediately see the flowers. You take the time to consistently nurture the seed and eventually, you’ll see the results of your efforts. Also, please don’t expect that you’ll be on the front page of the New York Times by the end of the week. I can tell you know, 9.9 times out of 10, that’s not happening.
- Be more than ready. Once you’ve decided who you want to work with, now comes, well, the actual work. Be beyond ready to get uncomfortable, hear the truth about your brand, share your deepest, darkest secrets and to collaborate with the PR team. If you’ve hired an awesome firm (which, I’m assuming you would), be ready for results.
Have you worked (or are you currently working) with a PR firm? Besides these tips, were there any other tactics you used to help you make your decision?