As Head of New Business and Strategy and it’s my job to deal with everything from client briefs we receive and enquiries we get, right through to pulling together the strategy and plan for new clients who want to work with us as their PR agency.
I talk to all kinds of businesses looking for PR support – big, household brands with bigger budgets, smaller businesses with more moderate funds and companies / sole operators with not much to spend at all.
It’s always exciting to talk to new people who are passionate about their businesses and what they want to achieve (it’s one of my favourite parts of the job!). The kinds of people I chat to can be really varied – those who have experience of having worked with multiple agencies, right through to businesses that don’t have any experience of PR and have no idea where to start.
If you are new to the process of hiring a PR agency, how do you know that you’re ready to work with one?
If the following things apply to you, then you’re on the right track!
- You want to grow your business and/or get a message out there. If you’re looking to invest in a PR agency then it’s likely you are looking to grow your business. We’re always clear that PR is not a direct sales channel but a) it can help with that and that b) it can be so valuable to get your company exposure (which in turn should help growth). Otherwise, the organisation your work for might be looking to spread a message (e.g. the statements that Public Health England are currently issuing about Coronavirus); a PR agency can support with that too!
- You have a reasonable budget to invest in a PR. If you work with an agency, then you are essentially buying a team’s time to deliver a service for you. One of the most common questions that I get from prospective clients is ‘how much does it cost?’. For retained and project clients, at Radioactive PR we tend to not work for less than around the £5,000 (+ VAT) mark – as this buys enough of our team time to be able to do a good job! If you have much less than this, hiring a PR freelancer might be a good option – I always point people to the Freelance PR Jobs Facebook page or People Per Hour – otherwise a call out on LinkedIn usually helps!
- You’re open to advice. If you work with a good PR agency, then you are working with a consultancy. It’s our job to recommend to you what we think works for you to help achieve your goals. It’s also our job to tell you what is and what isn’t newsworthy (as a business owner, hopefully you’re really passionate about what it is you’re doing and it’s our job to help tell that story in a way that journalists will be interested in too). The best and most successful client and agency relationships are two-way and built on trust, so a willingness to take advice and an open mind means you’d be right to work with an agency – with the best chance to achieve good results!
- Your business is in a place where you’re ready for PR. I’ve had conversations with businesses that don’t even have a website or a launch date yet. Of course we can do the prep work ahead of a launch, if it’s in the near future (even if a date isn’t confirmed) – but if you’re not in a position to make noise yet or have any kind of call to action yet, then you need to ask yourself, why are you investing in a PR agency?
Want to chat about working with us? Then please drop us a line!