5 Things to Look for in a PR Agency

By DPR Group

Today, more businesses are embracing new media and marketing strategies than ever before. Simultaneously, more PR agencies are claiming to have the knowledge and expertise needed to develop and execute successful public relations and marketing initiatives, though not all do.

Strategic public relations should raise awareness and enhance the reputation of a company through a steady stream of positive news stories and help companies establish their brand in the industry, retain current clients and attract new ones through various channels including raising awareness and enhancing the reputation of a company through a steady stream of positive news stories. The truth is that with the recent media industry downturn this is more difficult than ever before because there are fewer outlets and media contacts to listen to your story. These same people are receiving hundreds—even thousands—of topics and press releases each day. To ensure their stories are heard above the rest, successful companies are hiring public relations agencies to help strategically reach their target audiences through high profile placements and positive publicity.

When choosing an agency to handle your PR initiatives, here are five things you must look for in a prospective firm:

  • Established Industry Expertise – Make sure the agency has a long history of successfully representing complimentary companies within your market space. If you are a systems integrator for the manufacturing industry, look for companies that represent software developers for manufacturing or actual manufacturers that could be your customers.
  • Strong Media Connections – Cutting through the congestion in the media industry requires established relationships with key target publications in your industry. For example, if you’re in the technology industry, make sure the PR agency has a strong database of local and national IT publications.
  • Commitment to Service – To get a more responsive and personable service, look for a smaller agency that specializes in your industry. They should make you feel like you’re their only client.
  • Results Guarantee – Make sure that the PR agency has a proven track record of success from past clients. Review where the agency’s clients have been featured and think of where you want to be featured. Before signing, make sure you know how success will be measured so you can be confident about your results.
  • Client References – A good PR agency should happily offer several client references. Call these references! Ask what the agency did for them. How long did it take them to gain traction with the media to help increase their brand awareness?

Your primary goal should be to find a PR agency that not only lives and breathes the ever-changing media industry, but stays true to proven PR philosophy, employs ethical tactics and recommends industry best practices.