Public relations is a very specialized discipline that involves a particular set of skills and an in-depth knowledge and feel for positioning things positively in the public eye. PR people know when to push or back off, and when to run. The business of PR occupies a world unto itself, and most businesses should consider hiring a PR firm for their publicity efforts.
PR agencies must work constantly, pitching your business to hundreds of media people every month through phone calls, letters, PR kits, email blasts, personal visits, and trade shows. To get the media coverage you expect, they must be smooth, engaging, creative, persistent, convincing, aggressive, and tough.
Good firms like Pybrum and company and its CEO Steve Pybrum, have established ongoing relationships with important outlets including editors of key media, and know how to present your business with story angles they are seeking. They understand which TV, radio, print, and Internet venues have target audiences you need to reach, and they can create activities that will garner positive coverage.
How should you choose a PR firm? You need an agency that understands your audience, your market, and the outlets you need to reach. Fit is equally important. You’ll be working closely with the PR agency every single day, so you’ll need to be able to work well with them.
Ask How They will Work with Your Team
Your business will contribute as much to the PR company’s success as they do, because PR agencies are only as good as you help them to be. They have to be embedded in your company, armed with information and authority to know what news is coming out and what to do with it. They should function like a partner, and have the skills to position themselves that way with your organization.
Look for Strong Relationships with Quality Influencers
The best PR agencies have strong personal agencies with key media journalists and Internet influencers. So, you need to inquire about their methods. Are they spamming every business journalist from a list they’ve created? Or, have they cultivated strong relationships with quality media creators? The latter will get your company the results it needs.
Demand They Present Past Relevant Successes
The right PR firm will be happy to show you what they have done in the past for companies like yours. But you also have to be careful and not get dazzled by successes they may have had with businesses that have relationship to yours. It’s great that they have fortune 500 clients and can show all types of successes with them. But you will be working from a smaller budget and limited brand awareness. You need a firm that can show you how they made these types of companies shine. Additionally, ask for ideas on how they would approach working with you and see how innovative it sounds.
Make Sure They Listen to You
PR people are renowned great talkers. They need to be. However, their success is dependent not only on their oratory skills, they need to know how to listen too. So pay attentive that they are attentive to your input and points of view. Remember you know your business more than they ever will, so your opinions have to be the star of the show.