Last year my business decided that it was the right time to hire a public relations company to support us with tasks such as press releases, crisis management and helping with our overall visibility as a firm. The company which we decided to work with was Interdependence PR, leaders in their field and a brilliant PR company. On our road to find the guys at Interdependence we met with a number of PR firms, most of which weren’t for us. Through this experience we learned what to look for when hiring a PR firm which is why I wanted to offer this advice if you are going through that process right now.
Whilst almost all PR companies offer the same sort of service it is important that you focus on a PR firm which works within your particular sector or industry. This is because they must understand the market in which they are working, or which you are working, in order to land the message in the right way. If you have a fintech setup then working with a PR company which specializes in construction is not going to provide you with the best service.
All PR companies are able to talk the talk, of course they are after all this is why you are going to be hiring them. It is however your responsibility to ensure that they can also walk the walk and deliver on what they promise you. This is why you have to do your research before any meetings, to make sure that the company which you are going to be sitting down with has a solid track record of success.
Something which I noticed from many firms which we spoke to is that they just didn’t seem as up for it as I would have hoped. This may not mean of course that those firms wouldn’t have worked hard to deliver results, but I wanted to really feel that from them, and so should you. Saying you are results driven is one thing but the company which you sit down with should be able to really show you that they are, and create a feeling of real motivation.
Whether it is because they do not know or they think that the minutiae may bore you, many companies will not go into detail about how they will achieve what it is that you are paying them for. Many will try to fob you off with general terms and phrases, without actually breaking down the details about how they plan to spend your money. Remember that this is a service which you are paying for and as such you deserve to know exactly what your money will be spent on. If you meet with a firm who are like this then keep pushing until they reveal exactly what they plan to do, in detail.
These are the key watch outs which we learned from meeting with many PR firms.