You hired a PR firm. Now what?
PR and marketing firms play a pivotal role in helping businesses shape their public image, reach their target audiences and manage their reputation. However, to get the most value out of your investment in a PR firm, clients should understand that it’s not a one-sided endeavor. It’s a partnership that requires active engagement and collaboration.
PR investments – big or small – are also a big deal, especially for entrepreneurs. Afterall, that investment could be a shiny new Porsche or a vacation home, or even one or two full time employees.
Our latest blog explores how clients can maximize the value of their investment in PR firms and discusses the crucial role they play in the relationship.
1. Clearly Define Objectives and Expectations
To kickstart a productive partnership, clients should have a clear vision of what they aim to achieve through PR efforts. This involves defining specific objectives, whether it’s increasing brand awareness, generating new leads, or promoting a new product or service. These objectives should also be realistic and focused. For instance, it will likely be difficult for a new company to launch five new products across seven different verticals with a modest budget and no established brand.
2. Establish Open Lines of Communication
Effective communication is at the heart of a successful PR-client relationship. Clients should actively engage with their PR team and provide ongoing updates. Share industry insights, internal news and market changes that can influence the PR strategy. The more the PR firm knows about your business, the better they can tailor their approach. This can easily be accomplished through regular status meetings. Clients should meet with their PR firm to discuss objectives and activities but do so with focus. Minimize distractions to ensure the time is productive and keep meetings actionable. It’s also important to come to meetings prepared and follow-through on commitments made in prior meetings.
3. Trust the Expertise of Your PR Team
Clients should recognize that PR professionals are experts in their field. Trust their advice and insights when it comes to strategy and tactics. While collaboration is crucial, micromanaging can hinder the creative and strategic processes. Clients who allow their PR team the freedom to execute their vision are likely to achieve better results.
4. Be Accessible and Responsive
Timeliness is a significant factor in PR. Clients need to be readily accessible and responsive to their PR firm’s requests for information, interviews, approvals and comments. Delays in response can slow down campaigns and impact the overall effectiveness of PR efforts.
5. Provide Resources
Successful PR campaigns often require access to various resources, including subject matter experts, data, visuals and company news. Clients should ensure that their PR firm has the necessary tools and support to accomplish their goals. This includes access to senior leadership and company spokespeople.
6. Measure and Evaluate Performance
Clients should actively participate in evaluating the performance of PR campaigns. Discuss key performance indicators (KPIs) and the metrics that matter most to your business. Regularly review progress and assess whether the strategies in place are achieving your goals. Adjustments and pivots may be necessary based on the data.
7. Encourage Creative Thinking
PR is about storytelling and making an impact. Encourage your PR team to think creatively, experiment with different approaches, and find unique ways to engage your target audience. A collaborative atmosphere that values innovation can lead to remarkable results.
8. Provide Constructive Feedback
Feedback is essential for improvement. Clients should be willing to provide constructive feedback to their PR team. If something isn’t working or needs adjustment, communicate this feedback in a solution-oriented manner to foster continuous improvement. It’s also critical to be specific. Clients get more out of the relationship when they’re able to clearly articulate feedback.
Clients of PR firms are not passive investors but active partners in the quest to shape their brand’s narrative and reputation. By clearly defining objectives, maintaining open communication, trusting the expertise of the PR team, being accessible and responsive, providing necessary resources, measuring performance, encouraging creativity and offering constructive feedback, clients can get the greatest value out of their PR investment. A successful partnership between a PR firm and a client is built on collaboration, trust, mutual respect and a shared commitment to achieving PR goals that drive business success.