Getting the most from a PR Agency
There’s always something new and exciting about working with another company for the first time. In the case of public relations, on-boarding an agency to handle your PR is one that requires an education on both ends. Putting in some legwork in the beginning pays off in the long haul when it comes to making sure your agency understands your product and the way in which you work. Similarly, fully understanding the world of public relations (not just the topline basics) is often overlooked, but doing so can help both you and your agency get the most out of the relationship.
Understanding Public Relations and Vice Versa: Request that your agency create a PR 101 deck to walk through with you which fully encapsulates the public relations landscape today. It’s a constantly evolving industry and knowing and understanding how your product fits into it is crucial. Similarly, on-board your agency in the same way you would a new employee joining your company. The more you share with each other, the more familiar you’ll become with each other as time goes on.
Create and Share Benchmarks: Public relations is tricky in that it’s very hard to measure its success in sales numbers. Instead PR relies on media impressions, defined as, “any interaction with a piece of content and an audience member,” (Penn, Shift Communications). Creating benchmarks of impressions, number of placements, types of placements (TV, newspaper, magazine), allows the agency to understand your goals and measure the success of a campaign.
Share, Share, Share: Staying in frequent contact with your PR firm allows for sharing of information that allows both of you to operate more efficiently. Oftentimes information you may not find important for your PR firm is actually newsworthy and valuable. Checking in and asking questions is a great way to find opportunities for synergy that may have previously been missed.
In the end, it’s important to listen to each other. They’re the experts in public relations; you’re the expert in your industry. Together you two can teach each other a lot.