Public relations professionals are known for promoting their clients’ perspective, and should be able to enhance the image of their clients as well. They are not like paid advertisers—a PR pro’s entire job is to persuade the media toward the viewpoint of their specific patron. Starting a public relations agency can be overwhelming, but if done right can bring great success.
Plan out the agency and define the brand
Before anything can begin, a clear and concise plan is necessary. This will aid in mapping out all the specifics and highlight things that may be unknown.
One should ask themselves a few questions to get all the details needed for their plan. First and foremost, they should ask what all of this may cost. What would the expenses be to open a PR agency, and what would the continual expenses be going forward? It is also good to ask who the objective market will be, what is the voice of the customer, and understand how exactly an agency makes money.
Along with mapping out a clear plan, it will also be a good idea to define the brand. Know what the agency will stand for and how the public will see the business. This helps the agency stand out from the competition.
Design a legal entity and register for taxes
Another vital step in creating a public relations agency is establishing a legal business entity and ensuring the agency is registered for taxes.
It is most common for this type of business to go with an entity like LLC or corporation, so there is protection from being liable personally if there is ever a time the business is sued. The individual can form an LLC, and there is only a minor cost per state. There is also the option to go with an LLC service that would cost a bit more.
Registering for taxes is not something a person will want to forget when starting a PR agency. It is necessary to file for state and federal taxes before the agency can open. Thankfully, there is an easy way to do that through EIN, which is found on the IRS website and costs nothing for the business owner.
Gather permits and licenses needed
To avoid significant fines or possibly shutting down, a PR agency will want to ensure they gather the proper permits and licenses to start their business.
Each state will have its own licensing requirements, and it will be important to research the specific rules of the state in which the PR agency is to be located before opening the business.
There should also be required for the PR firm to have their clients sign a services contract before they begin any new projects. The contract should be clear on the expectations. This way, the risk of any legal arguments is lessened since the agreement will lay out any payment terms or conditions and who is the property owner.
Get insurance and a bank account
Along with licenses and permits, a PR agency needs to ensure they are adequately insured so they can operate their business safely and legally.
Business insurance helps protect the agency’s financial state if they ever need it to cover a loss. When starting a PR agency, there are various insurance policies to choose from. They are specially created for different types of businesses and have their own risks with them.
Opening a bank account and getting a business credit card are also essential. Setting up a separate account is best to ensure the business account does not mix with a personal one and does not put a person’s home, car, or other valuables at risk if the agency was ever sued. At the same time, opening a business credit card and learning how to use it properly will help when financing the business.
When opening a public relations agency, the best tip is to focus first on providing excellent service to any clients. This will result in the growth of the business.