Looking to hire a PR agency? Here’s what you need to know.
So you’re curious about what it means to work with a PR firm. Working with a public relations agency can take your business to the next level, whether you have a startup you wish to establish, have ideas you’re not sure how to execute on your own, or you simply want to generate more brand awareness for your company. There are a lot of factors that go into this decision, such as your budget, timeframes, and what exactly you wish to get out of the process.
With so many things to consider, Matte PR understands how overwhelming this process may be – which is why we’ve compiled a list of key points you should know before taking the leap. Keep reading for all the answers to your PR-related questions.
How do I know my business is ready for PR?
Questioning whether your business is ready is a first-step in itself. There’s a reason your curiosity has piqued, whether you simply want to learn what PR entails or you’ve concluded your business could use some extra help and recognition.
First, you need to have your affairs in order. Decide what your business goals are, what you want to convey, and who your target audience is. It is imperative to know your brand, from its consumers to its products, so you can position yourself in the market most effectively. Knowing where your brand stands and who you are catering to can help identify what type of strategies are best suited for you and your brand.
Having developed a clear message, considered your target audience and highlighted the goals you hope to accomplish, you are now ready to look for an agency partner.
Finding the right PR agency
Finding an agency that understands your brand and your vision can be difficult, but finding one that does will really make a difference. It’s easy to plan, write, and produce content at the right price. However, working alongside a team that helps you create and amplify your vision can make your experience in the PR world even more rewarding. The most important takeaway from this step: do your research.
Find an agency with successful case studies. By reviewing an agency’s past and current work, you can decide whether their experience aligns with your brand, and whether or not it lives up to the standards you’ve set. Matte PR has compiled a list of case studies on our site.
It is also important to do reference checks. Look at what an agency’s clients are saying about their services and performance results – after all, they know best.
How much lead time do you need before launching a PR campaign?
It’s often a misconception PR agencies can pull together a campaign on short notice. If you want it done correctly, agencies need time to put in the dedicated work. For short-lead campaigns, agencies typically need six weeks of lead time. For long-lead campaigns, such as print stories in a magazine, the lead time can be six months or longer.
How should budget be allocated towards PR?
A defined budget is important before meeting with a PR agency. It’s important that prior to working together, yourself and your potential PR agency are on the same page and collaborate on costs.
As a rule of thumb, Matte PR recommends allocating 20-50% of your marketing budget on PR services, should you sign with an agency. This number is completely dependent on how many services you require and for how long.
How often will I hear from you?
Communication processes look different at every agency. Matte PR starts the week with an update for our clients, including flagging actionable items and sharing coverage stories. We set up bi-weekly check-in calls between our team and clients to assess progress and discuss upcoming announcements. During this time, we keep an open line of communication should our clients want our consultation.
How do we measure success?
Much like communication processes, agencies may measure success differently. At Matte PR, we have a few tools in place.
For one, we use Media Rating Points (MRP), a standardized online tool to measure earned, paid, shared and owned media. From MRP, we are able to determine the reach, or the number of impressions a piece of coverage garners. To put this in simpler terms, imagine reading the front page of your favourite magazine – your readership of this page counts as 1 impression for the magazine, as well as any brands mentioned on the page.
Secondly, we use placements to measure success. In PR, placements are how many pieces of coverage are garnered. The more placements a piece of coverage gets, the more credibility and searchability your brand receives.
Last but not least, we set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for each campaign, ensuring that we deliver measurable results. KPIs center around the number of pieces of press coverage as well as the impressions.
Still have questions?
Look no further, we can help. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.