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A picture of a computer screen.by: Katie Kern, Marketing & PR Director
@katiekern

If you are a company that currently uses a PR agency or you’re looking to hire one, what are your expectations? If your intent is to have your company featured on the front page of the New York Times or a segment on the Today Show, that’s a great goal but you should think much broader than that.

Consider your PR agency a part of the team. They are someone you engage with throughout the week, sometimes daily. Do you always know what they are working on each week? Do you feel comfortable that your business is getting agency mind share? If not, then you might want to suggest they become more transparent sharing weekly emails that outline the priorities, activities and deadlines. This not only keeps everyone accountable, but ensures you are getting your money’s worth.

The following are some other important qualities you should expect from an agency that is committed to your success. You need an agency that

  • Creates Good Content: Creative content is your best public relations tool. It wasn’t too long ago, PR agencies found testimonials, quotes and survey data to promote a products and services. Now, agencies need to go deeper and tell more powerful stories filled with emotion, tension points and real, vibrant characters.
  • Is Creative: Clients are increasingly turning to PR agencies to come up with the “big idea,” as the discipline is now in a good position to call the shots on creative development. PR agencies must fill in creative gaps, push its clients to take more risks and produce high-quality content that delivers on the integrity of the idea.
  • Listens: An agency that listens well to client direction and feedback rather than always trying to call the shots will do a better job for you in the long run. Regular conversations and exchange of ideas helps create best-in-class campaigns that are tailored to the target market in mind using tried and tested PR practices.
  • Tells the Truth: Reality Check! One of the often-overlooked aspects of PR is the importance of letting clients know the whole truth—good, bad, and ugly. Yes, we need to be encouraging and positive, but it’s also essential to be rigorously honest. Agencies need to make sure their clients are aware of the big picture including the competition, the possible shortcomings of their business and their news agenda, and the tough questions they will get asked.
  • Has a Plan: While PR plans are always subject to change, planning ahead will enable you to stick to your overall goals and maintain your focus. Planning your PR strategy now will not only help generate new ideas and opportunities for you and your business to shine, it’ll give you peace of mind in your day-to-day operations.
  • Understands your company culture: You’ve probably heard the term “corporate culture” so many times, it may have lost its meaning. Basically, it encompasses a company’s business style, work environment and value proposition. An agency needs to know its client’s company culture to clearly communicate the company brand more effectively.
  • Looks Beyond the Media: For many companies, analyst relations are just as important as media relations. Firms like Gartner, IDC and Forrester employ thousands of analysts who engage with top-level management, experts and the end user community. This means they are in a position to influence not only the media, but also your clients and your investors helping to make a direct impact to your bottom line.
  • Has Global Capabilities: If your intent is to grow internationally, your PR agency needs to have close relationships with media houses that have an international reach such as IDG and CRN as well as know the local, in-country media. The UK for example has many influential media titles that need to be managed locally by agencies that have a UK presence. Unfortunately our US accent doesn’t always fair well when selling in a story to the British press!

At Media Frenzy Global, managing client expectations and providing the best possible service is paramount to maintaining a healthy and rewarding relationship with our clients. If you are looking to make the switch or thinking about hiring an agency, check out our website, view our client case studies or call us on 678-916-3793.