As a keen cyclist my bike is an essential part of my life – I use it to commute, to go to meetings and events, socially and for weekend bike rides. So when it comes to buying a new bike there are lots of things that need to be taken into consideration.
I recently made a list of my top bike shopping criteria … affordable, reliable, easy to maintain, all round performance and comfortable. And, realised that it’s a list that is also relevant when looking for a PR agency.
Before you have chemistry meetings with agencies ensure you have some idea of the budget you want to allocate to PR. Also, keep in mind how much your budget will mean to the firm you hire. For instance, your monthly retainer could be one of the largest accounts if you hire a small or boutique PR firm, but a very small account if you hire a large PR firm.
Creativity and enthusiasm are core agency must-haves when appointing, but also make sure you have an agency you can really rely on. The more experienced the agency and team looking after your brand the better. If you want to speak to people who have expert knowledge about the agency then simply ask some of their current clients and find out about their client handling style, frequency of contact and ability to take a brief and turn it into great PR.
Easy to maintain
Most PR agencies won’t take up a lot of your time, but they do need brand and product knowledge and most importantly, access to the right internal people – ones that understand PR. Good communications, regular updates and access to key decision makers on both sides makes the client agency relationship easy and highly effective.
An all round performer
Even if you are only looking for specific project PR or social media content support, it’s always good to know that your PR agency can provide you with the full service of communication skills. So creativity, traditional & digital media relations, social media content and administration, strategic planning, issues management, brand development, and consumer or business engagement should all be part of their offering.
Make sure you are comfortable with and get on with the PR team or agency you choose. It’s important you like them and want to work with them – and that they are seen as an extension of your marketing team not just an outside resource.
The new bike I’ve bought ticks all of these boxes – and makes me feel on top of the world when I’m pedaling around. Which is exactly how your PR agency should make you feel!