Having no PR agency working for you is better than having a bad one or one that does not really understand your needs working for you. So its important to hire the right agency. Here are some questions you might use in an interview before hiring.
1. What mainstay services does your agency offer?
You would be surprised who many different definitions of PR there is out there. Marking , social media and advertising can often be confused as PR. So check what exactly is included in any PR package you are looking to buy.
2. Who would be the lead on my account, day to day?
PR agencies can be huge and have hundreds of staff members. Check out our list of top PR companies in the UK to get an idea of their staff member.. Initially when meeting them you will find yourself in front of their most experienced partner. Their experience and expertise can be very comforting and might be the reason you hire that company but will they be the actual person working on your account day to day or will you account be managed by some much less experienced member of staff.
Often if you are just starting out you might find you are been managed by less experienced staff but this might be ok if they are been managed by more experienced staff. If you are a big brand this is much less likely to happen.
3. Does your agency work with partner or sister agencies?
As stated earlier PR packages can have many different elements to them. Maybe the PR company you would with outsources some elements of these packages. This often happens with marketing elements of PR packages such as Adwords , SEO or social media.
There is nothing wrong with this but you should know who they are. You may consider breaking these down and hire the different companies yourself but if your PR company has an existing relationship with them with clear lines of communication and well established relationships and understanding of who to work together it is probably best to let them manage it.
4. How does my price point affect the strategy?
This is great question to ask, a £20 product will be marketed much differently than some luxury item that costs £1000. Different media will respond differently to various price points. Would a low level product justify bringing on an influencer. What social media strategy works best at your price point. Ensure they have good answers to all of these questions. There is no one size fits all solution.
5. How much to spend and how to structure any budget.?
Most agencies work around a monthly retainer fee structure. They may be willing to take on a one off project fee. Regardless , there is normally extra costs beyond the agency’s retainer. Embrace the old adage “you must spend money to make money.” Make sure the budget allocated is enough to get the job done. Enabling your PR firm to spend the necessary time at a computer emailing the press about why your product might be a game changer for your company.
Will your PR campaign involve photo or video shoots, will you have to attend events. Make sure all of these costs are included when talking budgets.