A public relations agency client is a business or brand that hires a PR company for its services.
For business owners or those in charge of a company’s marketing budget, but are new to the agency-hiring process, it’s worth knowing what they should consider before appointing one.
Essentially there are a few things that companies should consider before signing a contract, not just about the PR agency they hope to hire, but also about themselves.
Some things to ask yourself before you look to an external PR resource for support:
- Do you want your business to grow or evolve? Usually the aim of PR is to help increase visibility in order to grow a business. In other situations, communications can be used to help a business evolve or change its positioning. If you are not looking to do either of these things, it might be worth questioning why you are thinking about using PR services at all. A good PR company will work with you to understand what your goals are.
- Is your business ready for visibility? You might have a product or service that you’re about to launch or an announcement you want to make about your business. It’s sensible to consider whether your business is ready for PR; some businesses approach us before they are ready (e.g. they don’t have a viable product or are in the middle of developing essential technology).
- Do you have something interesting to say? If you’re considering PR support, it’s likely you believe in your business and think you have something interesting to say. An agency will help you to drill down to what elements of your business will most interest the media and your audience.
- Do you have a budget? PR support comes at a cost, so it’s good to be upfront with the agency about what budget you have so they can let you know if these figures are the kinds of ones they deal with; some agencies don’t work with smaller budgets, whereas others are more used to modest fees. Once the agency knows the budget it can recommend activity to reflect that.
It’s worth reading this blog ‘What should clients consider before appointing a PR agency?’ to see the considerations in more detail.
Some things to consider about the PR agency you are looking to hire:
- Results and success rate: a good PR firm should be more than capable of generating good results for its clients. Before working with one, you should ask to see examples of its work. At Radioactive PR, we frequently showcase our work by creating and posting case studies on our website and social channels. We’re proud of what we do and like to shout about it!
- Client experience: by looking at an agency’s client roster, you will be able to find out if they have experience that suits your needs. This isn’t to say you should use a specialist agency (e.g. use a tech PR agency if you are a consumer tech brand etc.), you should look out more for what the PR company actually does for its clients and the results. Some of what we do at Radioactive is creative PR, where we come up with creative stunts and campaigns to generate awareness (as well as other objectives depending on the need). We also do a lot of PR for SEO, where we run campaigns that aim to boost a client’s website ranking. These activities are not specific to an industry but are targeted at fulfilling a specific need.
- Industry recognition: award recognition is a good way of showcasing great work by capable agencies. Other recognition might mean what credible people in the industry say about the agency (e.g. if they’ve been recommended to you by someone you trust etc.) or if the agency is noisy about what it’s up to.
- Rapport: once you think the agency is capable of good work and you’ve seen some good examples, it’s important that you have good rapport with the team. If you feel you can get on with the people at the PR company it will be easier to trust them to do a good job. Clients and agencies need to work together well to ensure the best chance of great results.
Here’s something we wrote on ‘What makes a good PR agency?’, which shows other considerations!
If you’d like to know a bit more about us, and how we might help you, then please do get in touch!