There is no doubt that public relations is an essential asset to every business. Public relations firms help manage the public perception of an organization. Today, PR is done through a variety of integrated paid, earned, shared and owned strategies..
Brands look to enhance, protect and/or develop their reputation using public relations. But how can your brand/organization determine if you are ready to hire a professional PR firm?
1. You need expertise and experience beyond your in-house team to reach your business goals
You are ready to hire a public relations firm if you have an effective business plan with meticulously identified goals for the year as well as a marketing plan. (Remember, PR is just one piece of the marketing pie.) It is common for a business to know where they would like to go but need some help getting there. Keep in mind that this applies to both new companies and established brands.
2. You know what distinguishes you from your competitors
What makes your business unique? While this might seem like a straightforward question, it could unearth many opportunities to distinguish your brand and business. Public relations professionals can help you considerably by homing in on the most important and compelling differentiators to determine the most suitable and newsworthy storylines from a media perspective.
3. You want to protect your brand
There is no denying that technological advances have completely changed how PR professionals do their job. Through the utilization of different social media platforms, your brand can gain more awareness than ever before. The downside to an increase in public awareness means your company may be subject to more scrutiny. Make sure to research public relations firms to see if they have experience with crisis management. Not only will this help you network, but it will help protect you and your business’s reputation.
4. You have the time to commit to a solid plan
Most PR firms work on a 12-month retainer. Why? A solid strategic PR plan does not happen overnight. PR takes time. If you just want to focus on scattered tactics you won’t get the results you desire. My favorite line is “PR is a marathon not a sprint.”
5. You have a budget
Just like payroll services or any other professional service you may outsource, you should have a designated communications budget before interviewing and eventually hiring a public relations firm. It’s understandable if you have not worked with a PR agency before and have no idea what it may cost. Ask.
Most PR firms bill on a 12-month retainer. This is a win-win for both you and the agency. There are no unexpected budget swings and it gives you you the dependability of a consistent strategic approach.
At TrizCom Public Relations, our sweet spot for the majority of our clients ranges from 30-60 dedicated hours per month. This equates to about $6000-$10,000 a month. Of course, we will never quote a retainer fee without knowing what your objectives are. But, we will almost always be able to give you a range.
Don’t be afraid of telling the prospective firm what your budget is. Most firms will build a proposal around your budget and if they can’t do the work for your budget, most will know of an individual or smaller firm that can.
For a free PR consultation, just give us a call at 972-247-1369 or visit us online at www.TrizCom.com.