Company founders who want to grow their business will often look to marketing (which can lead to hiring a PR agency) to get in front of people that will help facilitate growth – whether it’s customers, employees, investors or the wider community.
PR (or public relations) falls under the umbrella of marketing and is a discipline that’s used to connect a business or a brand to its audience using a range of channels.
If a business is new, growing or trying to grow, then its founder or a decision maker in the communications / marketing team may be wondering when the best time to engage a PR agency is; especially if they’ve never done it before.
There’s no single point in time that a business should hire a PR agency – it’s entirely dependent on the company’s needs. Here are some things to consider before making that decision.
- Do you have a set of key aims that you’re hoping to achieve? If you’re looking to hire an agency it’s likely you’ll have some objectives in mind that you’d like the PR activity to achieve. It could be anything from increasing media coverage on media outlets consumed by a certain audience, achieving a good spread of links from media sites with a high Domain Authority or encouraging sign-ups to an event. If you have some thoughts about your objectives, a PR agency will help to define these – including making them realistic in terms of what can be achieved.
- Is there a specific audience (or audiences) that you want to reach? The point of PR activity is that you want to reach a specific audience, right? If you can define the audiences and why you want to reach them, then the time may be right to engage a PR firm. An agency might also be able to advise you on other audiences it would be worth targeting, once objectives have been set.
- Do you have something interesting to say about your business? Most business owners will feel that they have something interesting to say – it could be that the business is new or innovative, it could be offering a new product or service or there may be a specific benefit to its customers. However, what the business owner finds interesting won’t always be interesting to the media and the target audience. A PR agency will help to identify what’s newsworthy.
- Do you have a budget? A business owner will be required to spend money in order to market it. Some good advice to businesses looking for PR support is to be upfront about what budget you have to the PR agency. This is so activity can be recommended that is realistic to your budget. It will also save time as some agencies are used to working with more modest sums and others may operate on a minimum monthly retained basis.
- Is your business / brand ready to be shown to the world? It’s always good to consider what the call to action is, and what the reason for running PR activity is. Sometimes companies might not be at the point where they can even say what the call to action is – their product might still be in the middle of development or they might not even have a website yet. Setting objectives is a good indicator of if your business is ready – so long as they are achievable with what is available. That’s not to say if your business hasn’t launched yet we can’t help – quite often we will support clients just before a launch to make sure everything is ready when it does.
If you can answer yes and give some details to several of these questions, then you’re probably ready to engage, or at least have a conversation, with a PR agency.
Want to know how we might support you? Then please drop our us a line.