Running a business costs money. Since we all want to be as profitable as possible, of course, we try to reduce this cost at every chance we get. After all, why waste the cash it took us hard work, time and effort to make?
To be totally honest though, there is smart saving that can help your business grow in the long run and cost-cutting that will hold you back. Skimping on PR is one of them. It’s clear that not all businesses, especially SMEs or startups, have the funds to start an elaborate campaign, but to completely neglect PR would still be a mistake.
If you’re not currently dedicating resources to communications, here are three signs why you should start doing so and three ways to find a strong partner to assist you.
Your competitors are getting the traction you want
Do you keep seeing the competition on the front page or in the features section of your industry publications? Do their social media posts go viral while you struggle with maintaining a presence on your platforms? And let us guess… they’re getting all that traction even though your product is better, or your service is way more personalized and effective. In other words, you deserve the attention every bit as much as they do, if not more, but don’t know how to get it. A PR pro can tell you exactly that and make it happen.
You’re not sure what to share or how to do it
There are plenty of things going on in your business. Maybe you just hired a new head of R&D, you’re opening a new location, or you’re launching a new product. And of course, there’s the cute new dog your founder got.
While in this scenario it might be obvious which stories have priority, it’s not always that simple. Even if you know what you want to share, getting the word out is not always as straightforward as it may seem. Should you write a press release, post on your blog or social media? And what kind of content do you need for these outlets? Either an in-house pro or an agency can shed light on that.
Your company just survived a crisis
If your company just survived a crisis, an investment in PR is a must. At this time your business is still vulnerable because public opinion likely took a hit and sales are suffering. Working with an experienced partner to get back in the game can speed up how fast you bounce back, and drastically increase your chances of success.
If any of these sound familiar, have a look the following tips for hiring PR support for your company.
Contact only agencies you like
If you’ve entered the term ‘PR agency + your city’ into Google, you probably got a load of results. While that might immediately send you into analysis paralysis or make you want to ask each one for a pitch, it’s wise to take a step back.
Screen the websites to draw up a list of agencies that could be a good fit. There might be some which specialize in your industry, have done similar work to what you require or one whose style simply resonates with you. Those should be the ones you contact.
Decide on goals and budgets
Now that you have a short list, what do you tell them? Asking an agency for a quote if you can’t tell them what you want to achieve is obviously not going to get you very far. That’s why, before reaching out, get clear on what you want to achieve with your PR work. Do you want to boost your social media presence, get more media features or host a launch event? The next thing to decide on is your budget. How much are you willing and able to spend? Be as specific (and realistic) as possible with this so the agency can give you the most tailored quote possible. If you’re pitching a professional team, they will offer you the most bang for your buck, regardless of your budget, so don’t hesitate to give them a number.
Designate a custodian
Hiring a PR agency isn’t a set and forget deal. While they will be doing a lot of work for you, they still need your support, which will demand time and energy from your side. Before looking into working with a PR team, ask yourself if you can and want to make that commitment. If so, it’s good to designate an internal custodian who will be the primary contact and source of information for the agency and drive whatever tasks need to be done on your end to make your collaboration a success.