In the fast-paced world of 24-hour news cycles, social media alerts, and radio, street, print, and internet ads, garnering attention for your company and its voice can often feel impossible. Good public relations tactics ensure that you are not whispering at a rock concert, but on a stage of your own choosing with the right audience for your voice.
How to Choose a PR Agency
The following are 5 simple criteria to look for when choosing a PR firm. Keep in mind this is a partnership, and similar to any new relationship, finding the right fit is key. The 5 C’s of a good PR match are Chemistry, Communication -to you, Communication – to the public, Creativity, and Connections.
Chemistry: Similar to all relationships in business, you are looking for a good match. The foundations of a solid match usually mean shared morality, shared vision, and shared goals. An ideal match would include a company that is strong in areas where you are weak. However you wish to define it, the ‘fit’ has to be right.
Communication – to you: Internal communication is vital. The company you choose needs to ask good questions and be excellent listeners. Communicating your goals clearly to them allows the building of a shared vision. You need to find an agency that understands what you are trying to communicate, and work with people who are ‘on the same page’. Finding this factor in a PR company allows you to spend less time worrying about what they are doing, and more time focusing on your own strengths, and working on the company’s mission.
Communication – to the public: This one is right in the title. Public Relations relates to the masses, and the PR firm you choose needs to communicate creatively and effectively to the public, and more importantly, to your target audience. Your chosen firm needs to be able to assess and communicate in a way that resonates with your target audience and is understood and well received by them.
Creativity: Creativity is a key component in modern PR, constituting the ‘X-Factor’ that increases your chances of standing out in a crowd. A good PR firm is always experimenting and trying new approaches. This is a critical necessity in an overcrowded media market, as creativity ensures your firm is not glossed over just meeting the standards of your competitors.
Connections: This is the factor most people associate with PR: their ability to get your message seen where you want it to be seen, either via broadcast, print, radio or online. In a modern context, this is also about utilizing resources in other areas to create strong digital campaigns. A good PR firm has the right connections and resources to meet your specific need and reach your audience.
The 5 C’s are a starting point, but choosing a PR agency takes time and effort. However, they are also important factors as you build and maintain that business relationship. Communication, of both types, become and remain the most integral components to a good PR partnership, and good PR is always a smart business move.