Are you like one of the many companies in the UK that are on tipping point of huge success, despite the lack of economic growth?
During the meeting it became apparent that the company, while having some fantastic attributes, was not yet ready for the successful world of engaging with a PR company.
The first hint of this came when I asked what their key differentiators are, above competitors. While the sales team reeled off some fantastic solution ‘pitches’, the Directors nodded towards more of the ‘product technical specification’ it demonstrated there was clear confusion as to ‘what made them great’ above competitors.
Some businesses assume (wrongly) that this is the job of a PR agency – to find your companies best attributes and ‘sell the company through the media’.
In fact, PR and media management is much more than that, it’s one thing being able to gain coverage for your company in the press, radio or online, but totally another for those PR agencies to really understand, live and breathe what you do so that editorial that’s gained is targeted and relates to a direct impact in your business and bottom line.
So, here are our top three tips to show you are ready for a PR company;
You’re ready to share insights about your business
This is vital to your future working relationship with any firm; you must be open to discuss both your successors and the negative aspects of your business – If you work in areas of confidentiality, most firms are happy to sign a non-disclosure agreement at the initial meetings.
Set realistic expectations
Like with any marketing activity, you should expect a return on investment. PR is tangible to see in the respect of coverage – any PR firm worth its weight will provide you with a guideline of activity and metrics to track, but it comes with the understanding that it doesn’t happen overnight, most sustainable methods take six months or more to build.
PR takes time; even if you outsource your PR management entirely, it doesn’t mean that your involvement ends. There will be times (hopefully regular occurrences) where your PR agency jumps on trending stories that require an immediate response and will repay you by gaining substantial coverage, although initially at least, you will need to allocate time to these too, by providing your opinion and insights of your industry at that time.
More so though, you should trust them to make good judgements and be able to work with them on a long-term basis, they need to be ready to spend adequate time getting to know you, your business, your ethos and your competition to enable them to generate the best exposure for you.