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  • Writer's pictureGenevieve


Finding the right PR for your brand is almost like finding life partner. The relationship is a bit like a marriage; it has to be based on trust and honesty, a mutual respect and a belief that both parties are working to the same goal!

So where do you start? Traditionally a good PR should be able to sell anything so how on earth can you tell whether they are selling themselves and how can you get past the outer layer to see if they are genuine. Many have experienced the PR that will tell you they will give you the world with no intention of delivering. 25 years in the communications industry on all sides of the fence – editorial, agency, own agency and in-house – have given me a pretty good sense of who can deliver and over and above that what it takes to make the right partnership work.

There’s an endless amount of advice on this subject but for now, here’s my top 5 tips to help you work your way through the hard sell when looking for the right PR for you – and if you’re still not sure, give me a shout and I’ll do all the work for you.

1. What are you looking for?

Sounds simple but not everyone realises that they haven’t identified exactly what they want from their PR. Is it just about boosting the bottom line or are you a new brand that needs to build brand awareness and trust to establish a solid base? Is it a numbers game? A substantial amount of media coverage doesn’t automatically translate into sales.

2. Who does it well?

One of the first things I do is look at who does PR well in your field? Look at campaigns that have resonated with you or may be a great fit with your brand. Is it about traditional methods and print – or are you a digital brand that needs more of a social and online focus? If one of your objective’s is to authentically get your brand in the hands of genuine influencers, look at who has done that successfully and who might have those genuine contacts without necessarily having to throw a load of sponsorship budget at it #AD

3. Chemistry goes a long way

Sounds crazy but chemistry is everything. I often encourage a chemistry meeting with potential agencies to establish whether you are going to be able to have a good on-going dialogue. It’s important – if the PR agency is going to become an extension of your own team, you can’t be dreading spending time with them. Likewise, they are representing your brand. If you can’t stand being in the same room, are they the right fit to be fronting your brand?

4. It’s all in the briefing

The PR brief you deliver will define the quality of the pitch. Keep it clear, concise and down to a minimum of tasks. Don’t ask for the world, as its not fair on the agency pitching, and you’ll also find it hard sitting through a number of long presentations deciphering where and how to benchmark between the agencies. Develop clear criteria you will be basing your decisions on.

5. Don’t expect everything for nothing

You get what you pay for in PR – if you make the right decision. Consider your budget. If you have tiny budgets, prioritise your objectives to what’s important in the short term so that the agency can be focused on delivering results. If you have larger budgets, don’t assume that will automatically deliver. Consider carefully where it’s being spent and ensure you set KPIs and deliverables. Additionally, if an agency is ‘inexpensive’ there may be a reason for that. Of course, they may be desperate to get your brand on board which is highly flattering, but being a cynical you need to question how they are able to do the job and the quality of their staff if the fees are too low.

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