Thinking of hiring a PR agency? 11 things you need to know before you make that call

Rewarding relationships involve give and take on both sides.  To get the best from your PR freelancer or agency, make sure you have answers to these 11 questions before you pick up the phone to them for the first time.

What is your business?

What is your business?  Where did begin?  Where is it today?  Describe in ten to fifteen words what your business does and the services you provide.  Who are your main competitors and how is your business different from them?  What are your business’s overall objectives?

What do you want to achieve with PR?

What are the specific goals you want to achieve through communications activity? For example, do you want to raise awareness?  Raise profiles?  Reach certain groups?

Who are your target audience/s?

Who are you aiming to influence?  Do you want to reach different groups for different reasons?

What are the best ways to reach your audience/s?

What do your target audiences read and listen to?  Where do they go?  What do they like doing?  Do you have specific ideas about the ways you’d like to reach them e.g. trade press, national media, regional newspapers, face-to-face?

What will your message/s be?

What do you want your target audiences/s to understand or do as a result of your PR work?

When do you want PR activity to take place?

How long do you have to prepare?  Who needs to be involved and how long will it take to agree?  What else is happening in your business at the same time?

Potential challenges?

Are you aware of any difficulties which will need to be addressed e.g. policy changes, competitor activity, media fatigue with your sector?

Budget?

How much do you have to spend?  Is it for a set project or ongoing?

Who is taking ownership?

Do you have one person or a dedicated team who takes responsibility for your PR?  Do they have time to provide a full brief and all the information required to make this a success?

What are your processes? 

What will your sign off procedure be?  How long will it take?

How will you know if your PR has worked?  

How will you judge if the activity has been successful?

Share these insights with your PR person and you will help them help you successfully toot your business horn.

Are you an innovative start-up or solopreneur who wants media coverage?

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