We’re often asked by potential clients how we can best work together, from a communication and strategy standpoint, to make the most out of their PR campaign. We want to share our approach question and back it up with how we successfully work with our clients. While we can rattle off at least 50 different ways to most effectively work with your PR agency, because it can differ based on the client, we’ve picked the top practices that are most applicable across the board. These tips are aimed at facilitating a strong line of communication and establishing a partnership with our clients – the basis quality campaigns are built on.
Send as much information about your company and its future goals as possible. We promise you aren’t bombarding us. By sending all of the information and documents within your arsenal, you are helping us understand the company’s tone, how its pieces fit together, and where it’s headed. This is tremendously helpful as we work with you to determine goals and put together the PR strategy. Remember, we are an extension of your company and brand – we want to understand areas of the business that may not seem directly applicable to the campaign.
Be clear about your goals and we’ll be clear if PR can meet those. Is the goal of bringing on a PR agency to drive sales? Is it to increase SEO and awareness? Is it to entice potential investors? We need to know in order to deliver what makes the exec team happy. We can take campaigns many different ways to many different audiences. If there’s a niche audience sales is starting to get in front of, for example, we need to focus on tactics specific to that goal. Being upfront about these goals makes both of our lives easier because we can also better set expectations. ROI takes a lot of forms in PR and sometimes, the ROI that can be tracked isn’t what the executives expect. This is best discussed upfront.
Provide access to the company’s top leadership. Not only is this critical to ensure we have a relationship with the company’s top decision maker to build trust, but it’s also important to have a direct line into their opinions and visions. Without access to the top, at a minimum through our daily client contact, it’s difficult to gauge how our strategy aligns with overall expectations and focus areas – plus interesting stories get be missed.
Stay in regular communication. It usually feels as though the clients we have the most contact with are the ones we have the most success with. Whether through email or via Slack messages, we’re able to bounce pitching ideas and strategies plans off each other regularly, and receive a constant stream of company updates. In addition to feeling like more of an extension of the company’s brand through this communication, it also demonstrates our value and the continuous thought and work we put into the campaign on a daily basis.
Let us know what publications your industry leaders/customers regularly read. When working on a media relations campaign, we do our best to learn the ins and outs of each of the industries we work with. We base a lot of our work on readership and distribution numbers of the publications we’re targeting and securing media coverage in, but sometimes it can be one of the smallest readership publications that has the most ROI for a client due to the population reading it. Don’t be afraid to let us know of the trade or niche publications you know you want to target and see results in – that helps us narrow our campaign.
Ask questions. This is what we’re here for. We understand the PR process can be confusing, especially if it’s your first time working with an agency, and we want to help you by explaining the methods and rationale we’re using to generate interest in the company. Ask away, and we will take time to make sure you feel good about our strategy and focus.