Good public relations can be a fantastic asset for your business. But how do you make sure that you are getting the most out of your PR agency? Here are some tips.
Get the leadership team onboard
With the best will in the world, if you’ve not got your leadership team on board for PR and communications, you’re going to be running backwards up a hill. The CEO and executive team need to understand the need of PR and why it matters for the business. It’s the agency’s job to communicate this, but they need access to them. If they’re not bought in from the start of the working relationship, you’re going to make it hard for yourself so sell it in internally and get the right people on the journey.
Share the vision and objectives for the business
The role of a PR agency is to create a PR and communications strategy that supports your business goals. So they need to know what the aim of the business to be able to do this successfully.
If you’re gearing up to sell in three years - they need to know. If you’re looking for investment - they need to know. If you’re looking to enter new markets - they need to know. If you need to grow the team x3 in a year - they need to know. You get the idea.
Your PR agency want to get your name in front of the people that matter to your business so make sure they know exactly who your audiences are and what are the short and longer term objectives for the business.
Invest your time, not just your money
Your PR team will need your and your teams’ input, so make sure you have the time to support. They will need regular updates from the business so make sure someone is tasked to be that point of contact and have regular strategy sessions with the executive team.
Make sure your business and its people are PR ready
If you’re going to press, make sure you look as good as you can too your audiences. Is your website up-to-date? Do you have solid headshots of the team that position you in the right way? Are you expecting some contentious questions at interview from previous business activity? Have a crisis reputation session to agree Q&A’s so you’re saying the right things.
First impressions count so make sure you’re prepped and ready to go.
Keep them in the loop
Being open and transparent is the key to success in most relationships and for your PR agency it’s no different. They need to know what’s happening in the business so use your weekly catch ups to keep them in the loop and treat them as part of the team.
Agree upfront about measures of success and discuss these regularly. Your PR agency should produce reports that measure success for you, whether this is coverage, reach, SEO, set it out and have reviews to check you’re on track to reach KPI’s.
Provide timely responses and have the time
Journalists are notoriously low of time, so if your PR agency gets you a media opportunity and needs sign off on a quote or your opinion on a media matter, make sure you get back to them asap so you don’t miss out on the opportunity. The more efficient you are with press, the more they’ll rely on you in the future for bigger and better opportunities.
Consider their counsel
You’re paying a PR agency for a reason, so if they have an opinion on something relating to your PR and communications, listen to them. They are specialists in the industry who succeed if you succeed, so remember you’re on the same team.
Continuity is key
Stopping and starting your PR and communications activity doesn’t do you any favours. You do not get a great reputation overnight, it takes time and a building of trust so you need to keep up the momentum. It might take your audiences two or three articles before they start recognising your name and understanding what you do. Keep your messages clear, concise and consistent and you’ll start seeing results.
A PR agency can be a great asset to your business. Take time to find the right one. If you’d like assistance on your PR and communications strategy, get in touch.