Is Your PR Firm Giving You Value for Money?
Hiring a public relations firm speaks to how serious one takes branding. It is a demonstration of one’s vision towards his/her brand and its future aspirations. The reasons for hiring one are varied; from brand strategy to emergency communication and product launches. Getting a professional to help in handling the media or in maneuvering regulatory mazes is not only smart but also necessary. To get a clearer picture of the value of what to expect, it is important to know what a PR firm does exactly.
What is PR
PR firms are in the business of promoting you and your brand through mainly editorial coverage. This is also known as free coverage like interviews and press coverage. It should not be confused with advertising which involves creating and running ads in both the mainstream and online media. Through public relations, a company is able to grow its visibility, reputation and create important connections. To simplify it even further, some of what a PR firm does includes: writing speeches, press releases, blog posts; managing social media accounts; managing communication crises; helping a company expand its network and connections; organize events and conduct market research. Some PR firms can be found to also complement their offerings by adding advertising services. This way, they can be in-charge of both sides of your visibility needs; both paid and free.
Traits of good PR
To be good at this, a PR firm will need to have certain traits. It should have a niche and extensive expertise in a particular chosen field. Getting a tech-based PR firm to handle a finance company will not be as effective as getting a finance-based PR firm instead. The expertise should also extend to local knowledge. To better relate with your target audience, understanding what makes them tick will guide in coming up with the right approach and content. Other small ticks to take note of is chemistry between your team and the PR guys, ability to meet deadlines and ability to inspire quality content from your team.
With that understanding, how does one measure the effectiveness of the PR firm hired? The simple answer is by using certain identified metrics. List down metrics that are a priority to you. These can be the number of publications, mentions on social media, invitations to industry events etc. With these metrics, decide how they will be measured. Will it be weekly? Monthly? Every four months? Every PR firm worth its salt has its own metric measuring system. It is used to take note of the effectiveness of their efforts. Take a peek at it for guidance. Liaise with your sales team also to see how these metrics are affecting sales. After all, sales is arguably the most important metric. No point having great reviews, glowing coverage in newspapers if it does not translate to more business.
Another way of measuring growth is by taking note of the changing requirements of your PR firm. Objectives change constantly. With a good PR firm, these changes will reflect the upward trajectory of your brand. There might be a few changes that came about due to a reverse growth in certain aspects of your brand, but that is to be expected. The general direction should be forward. How fast or slow this change happens will largely depend on you. The yardstick to measure the effectiveness of your PR firm is also how well they adapt to these changing scenarios. How adequately they are prepared for the changes shows how well they understood the outcome of their effort. A properly prepared firm will be anticipating the changes and is ready for them.
Welcome to Commken
It is for these reasons that you can never go wrong with Commken. We work closely with you to understand your objectives. These objectives in turn inform our action points. We help you develop sound metrics that capture your aspirations. Due to the fluid nature of requirements, we will always be at hand to adapt our approach to best capture the changing circumstances. So, talk to us today.