Hiring a public relations firm is a big decision for your small or medium sized organization. The cost of a public relations firm can be quite expensive.
Even with the extravagant fees, there are no guarantees that the public relations firm will be successful in achieving its goals.
The publicity you can accomplish with a successful PR campaign is going to be impossible to replicate on your own. So what is the secret to successfully hiring a PR firm, which can improve your business?
It comes down a combination of factors, which are required from both the PR firm and your company. To clarify, PR firms do not buy advertisements or put up billboards.
What is Your Criterion for Success?
Determine what the criterion for success will be for your PR firm before hiring. Some of the conventional standards for success in the PR industry are ‘likes’ on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page.
Even so, likes on a social media page are undistinguished methods of assessment of success.
Companies should identify precise variables, which they can monitor to corroborate success. Identifying the variables related to success will simplify your life. It will make it easier for your company to decide whether the PR firm is operating productively or it needs to be replaced.
The costs incurred for retaining a PR firm are very costly. If the PR firm is not running successfully, there needs to be a way your company can gauge the PR firm’s success.
This indicator of success will help save money if the PR firm is not performing as expected.
Targeting the Right Form of Media
Your business needs to have a good idea of which media channel to use to generate good business.
There are many different sources of media, which your company can decide to pursue to reach a target audience. Is your business going to target newspapers, websites, traditional TV, or mobile phone advertising?
The answer to this question depends on which audience is most conducive to your main business activity.
A business needs to have a diverse approach towards promoting their brand name. Entrepreneurs can use more than one form of media to establish their brand name.
Whether it is social media, magazines, or trade publications, each type of media exposes the business to a new audience. The traffic on your company website needs to increase. The number of people buying your product or service every month should also multiply.
Can the PR Firm Face the Competition?
Of course, your company is not a big name right now. To become a household name is the reason why you are hiring a PR firm.
A PR firm will shine the spotlight on your company. The right PR firm will also refuse to let the spotlight shine on your competitor.
Any favourable mention of your company in an article, website, or even TV show is a brick in the wall between you and your competition.
If your competition is successfully portraying a positive image of their company, this will slowly eat away your company’s reputation.
PR firms include subtle hints in their campaigns, which make the audience point the finger towards their competition. Being of sound mind, the audience understands which company is indicated by this gesture.
You have no choice but to be a part of this accusation and vindication. This is business. In business there are no friends, it is only business as usual.
If you are not doing it, your competitor’s PR firm will have a ball of a time eating away at your reputation. It will leave you to be a victim in your specialized industry and consider pursuing another form of business.
Giving up hope and leaving this field of entrepreneurship is absolutely what your adversaries want. Losing optimism will give them the upper hand with a larger share of profits and less competition.
Can The PR Firm Get Endorsements?
Endorsements have a considerable impact when it comes to selling a product. A customer is 92 percent more likely to trust a friend or family member about an endorsement.
The endorsement made by a friend, family member, a celebrity will have a definite impact instead of other forms of marketing. Here are just some of the athletes endorsing fitness products to make money.
“A good PR firm can convince celebrities working in the same market domain for endorsements to your products,” according to Mary Ellen Carter from Crowd Writer.
In the end, the company profits from having the celebrity’s endorsement, and the luminary is optimistic about using the product and endorsing it. Consumers also start to associate the brand name with the celebrity name and the company profits.
The Bidding Process
Your company needs to hire a Public Relations Manager (PRM). The PRM will advertise your Request for Proposal (RFP) in public or electronic media, inviting PR firms to bid for your business. The PRM will make a list of seven to nine competitive, viable PR firms.
According to your instructions, the PRM will provide all the PR firms with the same specific goals your company wants to achieve in coordination with a particular timeline.
The PRM will set up a meeting with the top three PR firms, decided according to price, reputation, and services.
1. Conducting the Pitch Presentation Meeting
Before actually hiring the PR firm, each company will pitch their proposal to you. The idea is that, if selected, they will work according to the plan they proposed. The following recommendations need to be made in advance for the day the PR firm pitch their presentation.
Instruct the PR firm to keep its company description or their company advertising to a minimum. Instruct them only to include sections, which will be specifically related to your account or situation.
Instruct the PR firm to bring only the people that will be working on your account on the day of their pitch presentation. PR firms often have a different group of people who pitch the services and a different group who deliver the services.
PR firms often send their best or first-class team of experts to pitch their services. Once the account is secured, the services are delivered by qualified third-class experts.
Instruct the PR firm to bring all the individuals that will actually be working on your project.
These people will give you and the PRM a good idea of how the entire team operates and manages its accounts. It will also give you and your PRM the chance to pitch some of your ideas if the circumstances seem favourable.
These are just some of the generalized instructions, which need to be provided to PR firms. There may be other instructions, which need to be administered depending on your industry and business speciality.
2. Important Agendas for the Pitch Presentation Day
On the day of the meeting is the time to ask all the questions you have about their business proposition.
First, make sure you understand all the ideas that they take into consideration and hypothesize. Make sure you and the PR Manager ask the PR firm questions about all the possible predicaments that could take place.
The PR firm has a formidable reputation with highly qualified employees, and expert managers but is unable to pitch a single profound and incontrovertible idea. Understandably, the PR firm has a minimal understanding of your company’s history.
Even so, the PR firm should be able to produce at least one idea that is somewhat practical to implement and makes you enthusiastic about getting started. Know that the PR firm is not passionate about their work if they are unable to produce a single viable idea.
These steps should give you a good idea of how to hire a PR firm successfully. Let us suppose you have hired the PR consultant only to find the individual is not exuberant. Do not be hesitant about firing the consultant. It is better to cut your losses as soon as possible and let your profits run.
Before beginning, business activities with any PR firm make sure you read the “cancellation clause” in detail. Some PR firms add a cancellation notice of two to six months in their contracts.
Suggest that all cancellations be allowed after one month of business activity.