PR is an amazing tool to let people know about your brand. Comit has been in the business for more than two decades yet one of the most common questions we get is – how to choose the right PR agency. We’ve heard it at meetings, events and while networking with people who don’t have a PR agency.
The long and short of it is that – you should choose a PR agency that understands your business and industry – and one that can help you get your brand message across clearly.
If you are new to PR or don’t know your way around it here are five considerations when choosing a PR agency:
1. Specialist PR agency vs generalist PR agency
It is a common fallacy that global or bigger agencies are more capable of handling complex projects. While there is no right or wrong answer in choosing your preferred agency, it is important to consider the team you would be working with. Rather than looking at the size of the agency you should make sure you like the team you are hiring, and they really want to work with you.
PR agencies come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one size fits all offering and it can sometimes be hard to identify the right match for your business. For instance, a specialist technology PR agency would be best suited to manage a technology brand simply because of their specialist expertise and media connections.
2. Understand your business
Great PR agencies will take the time to understand your objectives and business while designing a campaign around it. In the world of technology PR, it is important that they have an understanding of the basics of technology, your business and industry.
Right away it is important to understand if the team you are working with is knowledgeable about your sector and the trends or events that are shaping your industry. Having to explain the most basic concepts or the ins and outs of artificial intelligence to your team - for example - would probably get a little tiresome after a while. It is important to engage an agency that understands your technology and is able to keep it simple and jargon-free for the readers.
3. Good relationships in your industry and with media
Following the technology example, if your agency has good relationships with technology and business journalists – built over years - you can certainly expect strong results.
The agency’s engagement with journalists needs to be personable, positive, and trusted. Knowing simple things such as the preferences of the journalists, their contact details, when they like to receive press releases or announcements is all key to a good and long-lasting relationship.
In this way, your agency is more than just a service provider – it becomes a trusted partner.
Moreover, it is not just relationships, in Comit we have introduced many of our clients to one-another over the years, and fostered great business relationships.
4. Ability to measure PR success
Once you have chosen the agency and team you want to work with, the next step is the execution of the campaign.
It is not enough to just execute the campaign. Your agency should help you quantify and measure your success to benchmark it against your competitors.
While traditional methods such as AVEs (advertising value equivalent) are still used, there are many more ways to measure PR such as online search rankings and lead generation – giving clients an overall view of the impact that PR can have on business growth and success.
PR measurement has evolved over the years, to include different parameters and these often change based on the objectives of the individual client. A specialist agency will be equipped to provide search rankings, volume of social shares and other measurements to their clients.
5. Help you write your story
Every successful brand has a story to tell. PR is undoubtedly one of the best ways to tell a story. It has the power to persuade people with engaging narratives.
A good PR agency will spend time to know and understand your brand to draw focus on clear and simple messages that are understandable and consistent. If you are a budding technology start-up looking to define your voice or brand message, a specialist technology agency can help with your message development. They will take you through the steps to create a brand message that is consistent and tailored to target stakeholders.
At Comit, we help clients to develop a one-page messaging platform that informs every announcement and communication that follows.
When it comes to choosing a PR agency to engage with, generalist and specialists can both have an appeal. But one cannot discount the fact that not only does specialisation allow the agency to understand your offerings more quickly, but it means that your PR team will have established relationships with journalists at the publications where you would want to be featured.
At Comit, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with a specialist and tailored approach. We have excellent relationships with our clients and we deliver great results as well as high-quality service. If you’re on the lookout for a PR agency that specialises in technology, contact us today.