There are many things to consider when embarking on the process of appointing a PR agency to handle your affairs: local or national, specialist or cross-market, large or small and so on.
To help you get a handle on things, here are a few points to consider…
To appoint, or not to appoint a PR agency?
A fresh pair eyes equals a new perspective
You and your colleagues may have been mulling over the wording of that press release, or how best to pitch to a journalist for a while, without being able to give the pitch the edge it needs. A PR agency will be able to look at your business with fresh eyes, a new perspective and a greater level of objectivity. Any PR agency worth their salt, will be adept at delivering stories that are likely to generate interest and will spot those opportunities which you may have missed.
PR’s have invaluable media connections
If you are looking to generate publicity quickly, you will need the expertise of an agency who has a network of connections in the media. Whilst building relationships with journalists is possible, it does take time. A PR agency will come with those relationships already in place; each agency to varying degrees.
Valuable writing skills
Public Relations professionals are good writers - it is a core part of their job requirement. Their talent in the art of writing, and subsequent way with words, can make anything (i.e. you, your business or your product) sound like the best thing the world has ever seen. Whilst a talent for the written word may not be one of your strongest skill-sets, it is an imperative that any media release being pitched to the media is well written.
The exercise of PR is extremely time consuming and one that cannot be completed effectively if you’re not fully committed to the task. Employing an agency will mean a set proportion of time is attributed to your account to achieve the goals you have set in place, meaning that your PR affairs are never neglected.
Cross-Market Agency Vs. Specialist Agency
Jack of all trades, master of none
A cross-market PR agency may be a master of integration and possess just enough knowledge of many market sectors to be able to bring their disciplines together in a practical manner. However, a specialist PR agency is an expert in their field and often has extensive knowledge, ability and proven experience in that sector.
Greater knowledge of the sector
Every industry has its niche, none more so than that of the family/kids market sector. Specialist PR agencies will have the edge here. They should be familiar with industry movements, your competitors and be the first to know of great opportunities to help propel your business forward.
Communicating effectively with the audience
Understanding the audience you’re targeting is equally important, especially with the social networks proving so prolific in the spreading of messages.
A specialist PR will have built-up a strong and reliable source of sector specific contacts. They’ll know who the 'Movers & Shakers' are and how to pitch your brand/business/products effectively. This list of contacts may prove invaluable when exposing opportunities for your business.
A specialist PR is likely to invest heavily in the very best PR resources specifically for their sector.
Local or National Agency?
This really depends upon what you’re hoping to achieve. A PR agency with a local focus will be able to deliver strong local PR opportunities. If however, you’re looking for a campaign that delivers nationally, it goes without saying a PR agency with a national focus will be much more beneficial in helping achieve your goal. Nationally focused agencies will be familiar with working alongside national media outlets as well as the regional titles and whilst their ‘local’ connections may not be quite as strong, with the correct contacts and pitch they shouldn’t struggle to deliver.
Small Vs. Large Agency?
Smaller working teams
Small teams can often benefit a business or brand in terms of, (a) chemistry with the client, (b) enthusiasm for the brand and products, and (c) level of priority – you’re much more likely to feel like you are a key priority with a small team.
Typically, larger PR agencies will leave the pitch process to founding/executive members of the team. Once they've won your account, it'll be handed over to a lesser experienced ‘Account Executive/Manager’. In contrast, smaller PR agencies tend to provide a much more hands-on and personal approach to your PR affairs.
Smaller agencies are more likely to have lower overheads and this will impact the fees they charge to their clients.
If your business targets the family market (children/parents/families) and you are considering taking on the services of a PR agency, contact Lisa at Lil' Spin for a free consultation. t. 0845 257 1479 e. firstname.lastname@example.org