Whether you’re hiring a PR agency for the first time – or reassessing your current one – these five questions can help you create a winning partnership.
As we approach the end of Q3, many businesses are already planning for a busy 2022. Marketing leaders are reviewing key performance KPIs and assessing upcoming priorities for the year ahead.
A critical element to this review is evaluating your PR agency’s impact on your goals. Were deliverables met, and did your work together drive awareness, pipeline, market share or other key outcomes? If the answer is no, then you could be in the market for a new PR agency.
Alternatively, perhaps your business is just starting the search for your first agency. Regardless of the scenario, it’s important to cover your bases when meeting with potential partners. Here are five questions you should be prepared to ask.
Awareness for the sake of awareness has never been enough. Your PR and content strategy should be aligned with a broader objective, like market creation, expansion, competitive differentiation, funding, or acquisition. Look for a team that will not only have those conversations with you, but that can you show how a specific PR strategy aligns and drives your ultimate objectives.
Every PR agency is capable of media relations – but the right match for your company will have robust relationships with reporters and influencers in your industry.
For example, supply chain tech providers should look to partner with an agency that specializes in supply chain. You can gage an agency’s level of experience in a field by asking about their clients, or for examples of publications they work with regularly. You could also request samples of recent client coverage to assess its relevancy.
Choosing an agency to manage your blog or draft downloadable content is an important decision. The content they will be drafting is often the first exposure a prospect will have with your business.
Be prepared to ask how an agency goes about understanding your brand, industry, messaging, buyer personas and more. Seek an agency that creates buyer-centric content that is optimized with the right search engine terms for optimal visibility.
A big part of an agency’s job is to be your eyes and ears in the media. Through news scan, competitor alerts, keyword searches and more, they should have a 24/7 pulse on emerging challenges and breaking news that’s relevant to you. Additionally, they should be the first to know of competitor updates and coverage.
How often does a prospect agency send you industry news? How do they leverage what they’re seeing in the news cycle for your company? It’s crucial to know their processes and how it fits in with your team’s needs.
Some agencies may tell you it’s hard to measure the impact of a great Wall Street Journal article or a well-written blog series. That’s simply not true – and if KPIs and outcomes are important to you, it’s best not to partner with these guys.
Rather, partner with an agency that can measure PR’s impact with real-time monitoring and metrics. Ask your agency what reporting software they use and what their key performance indicators are. It’s also important to know if they will supply your company with a detailed report, and how often.
Partnering with a new PR agency is exciting. It is a path toward next year’s ambitious goals that you’re brainstorming today. However, your choices are limitless – and to ensure success, it’s crucial to partner with the right one. Asking the right questions can help you vet your options and kick off a partnership on the right foot. If you’re interested in learning more about Corporate Ink and how we work as an agency, visit our LinkedIn!