It’s quite common for startups and small companies to literally screen every strategy so hard before investing. There are a number of questions asked, like “Are we going to do the PR on our own?” or “Hire a PR professional to do it?”
It’s not easy to spend tens of thousands of dollars for something that doesn’t guarantee a good return-on-investment. In reality, PR firms don’t assure an outcome. However, one thing that marketers should consider is that there are a lot of benefits they can enjoy with press release distribution media outreach.
When to hire a PR firm?
Media outreach is a long haul. Building rapport with the media is not an instant process that provides an instant result.
Now, if you don’t have time and manpower to focus on developing relationships with the press, it’s good enough to hire media db outreach services. PR firms can do a number of work for you that can shape your reputation in front of the media.
Ask first these 5 questions before hiring a PR service to avoid headaches later:
- Is there a retainer fee?
Earlier, traditional PR agencies ask marketers to pay a retainer fee for up to six months. This comes as additional fees aside from the monthly rates and onboard fees. Since it is expensive not all startups cannot afford it.
The 6-month retainer isn’t practical. Only big companies can afford it. The best way to test an effective PR strategy is to hire them without the need to pay fees for many months.
It’s best to check if the campaign works on the first cycle. Marketers should always give PR firms, some consideration if they didn’t land publicity. Their story should be relevant and newsworthy in the first place.
It’s always good to have key performance indicators to measure the result of the campaign. If you notice that they don’t communicate your company values and message, or their campaigns aren’t successful, it may be an indication that you should change your PR agency.
If a firm offers a no-obligation free trial, you can decide whether or not they are efficient in the different stages of the campaign. Keep in mind that a full cycle of a campaign takes between six to eight weeks. If you didn’t get your desired result in the early stage, it may be a sign that you need to move on.
- What kind of reputation does a PR firm have?
Any business, online can’t survive for a long time if they don’t have a good reputation. Before working with any firm, ask yourself, “What kind of reputation do they have?”
It’s so easy to make sudden decisions. You may seek their services immediately, without even checking customer’s feedback. However, be wary that not all you see on the website is a genuine proof of their credibility.
It’s quick to create fake reviews and feedback just to earn clients. The easy way to go is to check various online community channels like Reddit. Observe the conversations.
Monitor the feedback that their customers are saying. Are they getting good reviews or receiving tons of backlash for their poor services? You may as well check their social media pages to monitor their engagement with their followers, Entrepreneur reported.
- What needs do I have?
For instance, if you visit a shop to buy a dress, you may ask, “What’s the best dress you offer?” The clerk is more likely to say, “It depends on your taste and need.” As you see, before looking for a PR firm, you should know your needs.
If your company already has a great team in marketing, you may just require a freelance PR professional who will do special campaigns from time to time. If you are the one focused on all the PR campaigns and you want to concentrate on other areas of your business, you may need a firm that provides comprehensive services. Before connecting with an agency, assess what needs you need to fulfill.
- Are they transparent?
Before working with a firm, ask yourself, “Are they transparent?” Are they promising you guaranteed results? If yes, you should make a pause, and do a little bit of background check.
In the old days, a lot of agencies were doing bad PR’s. They are portraying every company as “amazing” or “the best in the industry.” There were a lot of fake news that it became so difficult to know which is true and which is not.
With former journalists entering the PR world, they want to bring back honest and accurate stories. Check if a firm holds the 3T’s, including truth, trust and transparency. Never settle for a company that promises you of sure publicity regardless whether your story is newsworthy or not.
- When can I expect results for the PR campaign?
Another question that you have to consider before picking a firm is to know what results they can deliver, and how fast you they can deliver it? You can’t expect immediate results from the media outreach, less than a month.
Since it is all about relationships, it involves time, effort and patience. Try to give the firm a minimum of three months to see if they are helping you grow your business or not. After this period, if you’re not yet getting your desired result, you know what to do.
Makes sure to find answers to these questions before hiring a PR firm to work with. You need to choose the right firm that can help your brand grow. Of course, part of the success is to know your needs and goals to set them for success.