How to choose a PR agency for your business
At Cherish PR we are often approached by young, fast-growing businesses trying to choose the best PR agency.
It’s an exciting time as these companies search for the best marketing techniques to drive growth, build new audiences and drive customers into their business.
However, often after speaking with these brilliant businesses we have to decline the opportunity to work with them. Not because we don’t want to represent them, but because we aren’t the right agency for the job or indeed the company is not at the right stage for our services.
That’s why we want to offer a few words of wisdom on how to choose a PR agency.
Is PR right for my business?
Many firms out there will tell you that they’ll deliver the world and many will get you great media coverage, but it’s important to know if those results will deliver your marketing objectives.
Media relations is great for brand awareness, for credibility, to drive an understanding of a product or service. It also works really well for organic search with content and often links on highly influential sites. It works incrementally with each result building a digital profile, which together will impact your business.
However, PR is not a direct sales mechanic. It cannot be measured on direct traffic on a piece-by-piece basis. If you are looking for a quick impact traffic burst or short sharp increase in downloads, PR may not be for you.
Which is the best PR agency for my industry?
When you are looking for an agency, the natural choice may be a specialist in your sector. Relevant experience is important. However, rather than simply choosing an agency with market experience, consider those with examples of how they have helped clients with similar challenges to your own.
You may be raising funding, changing an outdated perception, launching into a particular territory or into a new target audience or market. This experience is more valuable than simply choosing an agency that can boast working with your closest competitor.
How much does a PR agency cost?
The cheapest option is not always the best. Some agencies offer a payment on a results basis, driven by achieving volumes of media coverage. Don’t be fooled by the “no win no fee” approach to PR. The results may be plentiful but they may also be poor quality. Mentions may be fine for household brands, but when you’re starting out or trying to carve better awareness, the articles should:
- Create an understanding of what you do
- Show how you’re different
- Pique interest in your business, service or product
Think carefully about what you want to achieve with your PR and how much you will need your agency’s advice and guidance to get there. This has incredible value and be prepared to invest in that.
What kind of PR do I need?
The media environment has changed enormously over the past 10 years and PR has changed too. Whilst traditionally PR delivered print and occasional online media coverage, today’s campaigns deliver a diverse mixture of placements, from online media to social channels, influencers, podcasts and even other brands’ feeds. The best PR campaigns integrate all of the channels to support your PR effort. Consider agencies that can demonstrate clients and campaigns using all of these channels and clear strategies in how and why these were employed.
Today’s agencies also combine earned and paid placements and shouldn’t be afraid of negotiating paid deals with media, influencers and social posting. At Cherish, we have a dedicated paid social and influencer team who can advise on negotiating and contracting media and influencers to bring a story idea to life.
This is just a few of the most common questions we are asked when clients are looking for a PR agency and we are happy to listen to talk and to provide advice so that all of those brilliant disruptors, innovators, start-ups and scale-ups achieve the PR they deserve.
To find out more about working with Cherish PR, email firstname.lastname@example.org.