A successful firm relies heavily on public relations. And, in order for PR to be effective, you’ll need to rely on more than friendship or instincts when selecting a “perfect” PR firm. Because public relations is all about communicating and guiding a firm toward realistic goals, you must think about a number of important and concrete challenges.
Make it clear that public relations cannot be handled alone by the firm; it must be a collaborative effort between you and the PR specialists. Your suggestions will guide the PR business in the right way. You must give complete and up-to-date information, be accessible to advise on or examine material prepared by the firm, and spend time brainstorming with the PR staff. PR will only be successful if the foundation is built explicitly.
- The company must have already worked for a company like yours or have the tactics they will use to fulfill your PR objectives at their fingertips.
- The PR firm’s systems must have been upgraded to reflect the most recent developments in media and communications.
- The organization must have a thorough understanding of your business and be clear about how much strategic versus tactical support they can deliver.
- Check to see if the team working on your project has both experience and skill. Learn about their triumphs and setbacks.
- Determine whether they are able to reach out to your target market and measure their worth.
- Examine their suggestions for your project and utilize your in-depth understanding of your company and the market to decide how well they will function.
- A professional public relations firm will not hesitate to disagree with you on any areas of your strategy with which they disagree. They are well-versed in the ins and outs of their industry and are aware of what works and what does not.
- The firm should not only hold a series of meetings; there should be ongoing engagement as well as reviews of the job done and the results obtained.
- There must be no hidden conditions in the contract, and it must be plain and transparent. The public relations business must have a framework in place where it fully understands and then delineates its responsibilities in a contract.
- Make sure to look over their references and credentials. Examine their case studies to see how effective they are, and conduct some research to see where they are in the market.
The Counselors Academy of the Public Relations Society of America has the best description of a PR partnership. “A successful relationship between a client and a public relations firm or counsellor has as a fundamental: a match of capabilities and needs, 100 percent agreement on objectives, constant and instant accessibility, full information sharing, interaction at all levels, regular updates and progress reviews, and a clear contractual agreement,” it says.