What to look for in a PR agency: Sanya Bajaj
This authored piece was written by Sanya Bajaj, Founder, Column Inches.
Hiring a PR agency is essentially one of the smartest decisions that you could make for promoting your brand organically. Rise above the benefits of getting innumerable media clippings, the right PR agency can be your fantastic investment to establish your brand in the market.
There is no doubt that they reach out to media outlets, journalists and industry influencers to share your brand story but how much impact does that reach makes on your brand is quite a tricky question.
There are several ideas and ways existing in the world of publicity but it is not required to navigate through each option for a brand promotion. This criterion is highly ignored in the industry from both the sides – whether it is the brand or the PR agency itself.
Before opening the pitch for your brand in PR industry, you must consider 5 important things while handing over your brand promotion to any PR professional.
Assess the right time
There is always a right time to hire a PR agency. Start-ups who are fascinated with start-up columns in media publications and portals make a huge mistake of approaching an agency even before they are ready to enter the market. Consequently, they end up wasting their resources and their morale goes down before hitting the market.
It is always good to have a PR team ready before you launch your brand or any product in the market but firstly it is highly important to be ready with the completion of your backend and operational work. If the brand or product is not ready, it becomes a headache for PR agencies to pitch your brand story; hence, the brand positioning might face a big time failure.
Quality over size
One of the most common misconceptions before hiring a PR agency is about the size of the agency. Many companies that have no prior experience in dealing with PR agencies have conventional mindset to hire an agency with a larger team. However, dealing with small teams is much more convenient and pocket friendly as they handle their client’s mandate at utmost priority.
Small or mid – sized PR agencies can work on customized PR plan and campaigns to align your PR budget with your business goals. They are flexible when it comes to working together, giving the desired attention, therefore, taking the brand to a next level.
The PR team is the face of your brand in media and other important publics. While listening to the pitch from different PR agencies, companies often forget to give much attention to the details of the TEAM. Just the name of the agency or the work that the agency does for another brand is not enough for your brand promotion.
Do some research in knowing the experience of the team that is going to handle your account. As you will be constantly connected with that team, it is highly essential for you to know the professional summary of the PR team who will be taking your brand to the next level.
Area of Expertise
It is vital to know the PR agency that you’re hiring has a quality experience in your respective market. The agency that has a direct knowledge about your market would always result in a good PR or campaign strategy due to their extensive insights about the competitive landscape and the industry insights.
Understand – A PR agency having expertise in tech would not be able perform better for a Fashion or Lifestyle client. However, in order to make money and add clients in their portfolio, some PR agencies often agree to take up the client.
Go for connections not location
When inviting for PR pitches, companies are often seen stressing upon the location of the agency. If any agency located close to the client’s workplace, it wins extra points than the one located little far away. Some even think that a PR agency located in a posh corporate area will have more creative minds than an agency based in a residential locality.
In today’s world, connections work the best than location. Identify the agency that has good connections and influencer outreach. Try to find out their networking partners or key influencers who are going to benefit your brand promotion now or in the near future.