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Client perspectives: 4 tips for picking the right PR firm

by | Jun 25, 2021 | Analysis, Public Relations

To ensure continuing success, your company must acquire and keep clients from key markets and demographic groupings, regardless of where you are in your business. Working with a seasoned public relations firm is a wonderful place to start.

Perhaps you’re in the midst of redesigning your marketing and public relations efforts, and you’ve been entrusted with locating a PR firm to collaborate with. You’re not looking for just any agency; you’re looking for the perfect one. It’s difficult to tell which one is which.

There’s a lot on the line. Your bottom line will suffer if you do not hire the correct agency. The decision could imperil your future marketing budget or, worse, put your firm in the red, leaving you scrambling to find ways to make up for the hefty investment that yielded a low return on investment.

On the other hand, selecting the correct agency can produce significant outcomes that important executives will not overlook. These are the kinds of numbers that may justify your marketing budget, assist your department in meeting critical KPIs, and propel your firm into the next stage of development.

When deciding which of the more than 46,000 PR firms IBIS reports operating in the United States will help you achieve your market share and mind share goals, keep your business objectives in mind.

1. How good are they with new tech?

Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics can be used by firms to assist clients in identifying new chances to increase mind share, making informed crisis management decisions, and adjusting campaigns based on real-time feedback. Clients who work with PR firms that embrace these and other technologies like Javascript static analysis will have a significant advantage, especially considering how ambivalent most PR professionals are about their value. Only 46 percent of PR professionals in a USC research said real-time marketing experience was a vital skill for PR professionals to grasp, while only 35 percent and 24 percent said the same about artificial intelligence and software coding, respectively.

2. What’s your audience?

Inquire about a firm’s capacity to align with your company’s objectives. Ask about the firm’s placement rates with consumer periodicals and contacts with influencers on Instagram and other retail-friendly channels if your company is B2C. Meanwhile, B2B companies should discover more about companies’ trade shows and event planning capabilities, as well as their relationships with industry magazines, professional associations, and commentators. The ideal agency should be able to develop methods that will position your company to receive high-quality mentions and backlinks from the sources that matter to your target audience.

3. What skills do they have?

When pitching to newspaper, magazine, and internet editors, working with PR specialists with a journalistic background might give you an advantage. However, this shouldn’t be the firm’s primary selling point. Firms that specialize in videography, photography, analytics, and digital marketing can help you keep your campaigns fresh and effective in the face of ever-changing content consumption habits. This is in line with the conclusions of a recent USC Annenberg research, which found that PR professionals feel social media, multimedia content generation, and data and analytics are among the top six talents needed to ensure organizational success in the next five years.

4. What are their connections like?

Despite the fact that the internet has made it simpler to connect with crucial contacts all over the world, no approach can replace the value of face-to-face encounters with key decision-makers. According to a survey conducted by GreatBusinessSchools.org, 95 percent of business professionals believe face-to-face interactions are essential for establishing long-term commercial ties. While digital marketing and exposure are important, engaging with a public relations agency that prioritizes in-person ties with powerful contacts can help your entire approach.

Overall, it’s vital to pick a public relations agency with the right employees, contacts, and resources to introduce your business to the clients you’re after. You’ll be much closer to identifying the business that can help you achieve your PR goals if you ask the appropriate questions.

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Jamison Hutton
Jamison Hutton is a business and technology enthusiast. He's a freelance journalist who loves writing about trends in the tech industry and how these advancements relate to and impact business. He has experience in various data software and business intelligence technology. He loves teaching and sharing his insights with others. 

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