Getting the right public relations company is not easy, and I am speaking from experience. In fact prior to joining forces with the brilliant Interdependence Public Relations we worked with a number of public relations companies and it just didn’t work out. It is important that you know exactly what you are looking for when you meet with various public relations companies and when you do sit down with them to see whether or not they fit, here is what I believe that you need to be looking for.
You’d be surprised at just how many PR firms have a massive lack of customer service, with some of them being borderline rude when I met with them. Regardless of the fact that this is business to business dealings, you are paying for a service at the end of the day and you should expect to be met with high quality customer service.
Understanding Your Industry
For me one of the most critical things which you need to look out for when you are hiring a public relations company is that they know and understand your market. When it comes to PR the processes are largely the same across different industries and sectors, but the language and the way in which the message is delivered will vary greatly. You can’t treat a fintech company in the same way that you would do a construction or retail client, which is why you need your PR firm to understand your marketplace and they can deliver this message in the right way.
Honestly something which I really wanted to see from the teams we met with was passion, we are never going to be the biggest clients in the world but nonetheless we are paying customers and we wanted to see teams who had some drive and energy, who would be able to help us out. As it turns out, this is something which many PR teams just don’t have and to be honest it was a breath of fresh air when we eventually sat down with Interdependence, who were full of ideas and energy which could help us out. This passion ultimately lead to us deciding to work with them, and it has not waned since.
Much of the reason why so many businesses go to PR companies is because they lack many skills in-house, and creativity is one of them. This is the very minimum that you should expect from a public relations firm and it should be clear from the outset that the company is bristling with new ideas which will be able to help your business meet its goals. You should expect to see this within the first meeting with a firm by way of ideas and concepts which they present to you, if that isn’t forthcoming, move on to the next meeting.
For me this is the bare minimum which you should expect a great PR firm to offer.