Finding the right PR agency is like finding the right partner for life. You want to choose someone who has all the qualities you are looking for and is a good fit for your business.
It also means it can be difficult to find the right PR company in Melbourne, where there are many firms and consultants to choose from. With so many choices that offer rich backgrounds and specialisations — from traditional media to digital and from large multinational firms to boutique agencies — it could be daunting to make a choice.
But having a well-structured selection process can help you make everything easier. Here is what you need to do to choose the right PR firm for your business:
1. Define your goals
Even before building a list of firms to choose from, you must know what end you’re trying to achieve. Is it brand awareness or a successful product launch? Do you want to strengthen media relations or establish a solid social media presence?
2. Interview client references
A good PR firm must give you client references that can provide an idea of what it’s like to work with the firm. The references should be able to tell you if their project was completed on time, on budget, and with a nice attitude. Ask them for recommendations as well on how to work best with the firm and its consultants.
3. Look for a perceptive approach
The PR firm you choose must have done their research to find out what you are looking for. When you schedule presentations, look for signs that show the agency has done its homework. They must know who you are as a business and be able to discern your needs, even without you telling them.
4. Set a budget
Paying for public relations isn’t cheap, so it’s best to set aside a specific budget for it. Your PR firm must be able to present a cost estimate that takes into account all expenses for the project. Moreover, be wary of hidden costs or long-term contracts that could lock you in for several years. Make sure to read all the fine print before you sign anything.
Hiring a PR agency shouldn’t feel like you’re working with a third party. Think of it as hiring someone to become part of your team. The right firm will be able to feel like they’re working only with you, and not with other clients. Otherwise, if you feel like they’re not giving you their best, they’re not the right firm for you.