So, you’ve landed your ideal PR agency (maybe it’s us!), and you’re wondering how to get the biggest bang for your buck and nurture the kind of relationship that will yield great results. First off, congratulations are in order. Not only have you made the wise move to hire a PR firm, but you’re also going about it strategically. Kudos to you! But we get it. Working with a PR agency can be daunting and intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. So, what can you expect, and how can you get the most out of this new partnership? This article will explain what you need to know about working with a marketing and PR firm to maximize your efforts and results.
5 Tips for Working with a PR Agency
Maybe this is your first rodeo, or perhaps it’s not. Either way, you’ve come here to get our best practices for working with a PR agency, and we aim to deliver! As a marketing and PR firm, we know what makes for a productive and fruitful partnership with clients. Here are five key factors that set up a client-agency relationship for ultimate success.
1. Be Receptive
It might seem obvious from the get-go, but often, clients don’t want to hear the sometimes “tough” love their PR agency has to offer. The fact of the matter is that it is our job to assess your brand and company’s reputation very early on in the working relationship.
If your PR executive finds that the strategy needs adjustments, there must be an open line of communication to address such things. Likewise, throughout the campaign, your agency may find it necessary to shift the plan to fit the end goal that was collaboratively decided. Try not to be defensive — trust your PR agency to look out for your best interests.
Suppose you’re working with a PR agency to assist with a specific campaign alongside other agencies that work with your company. In that case, listening to all the shared opinions is important. For example, if your marketing and PR firm in Russia uses messaging that the North American audiences find unfavorable, be ready to address it with an open mind and a forward-thinking approach. Being receptive to all ideas is a major factor in the success of your campaign.
2. Be Honest
Your jaw might hit the floor if we told you how many clients we’ve worked with who didn’t tell us the whole truth about their product or service.
As your PR agency, we are looking out for you, the good and the bad, and we need to know what’s happening. Whether it’s a defective piece of hardware or a game that’s not on track for its launch date, nothing is off-limits for your PR team.
Think of it this way: if you’re even remotely worried about a potential crisis, wouldn’t you want the experts you’ve hired to be ready to take action as soon as it happens? That’s what your PR firm is for, and if you don’t feel comfortable talking with them about these things (especially after a prolonged working relationship), perhaps they are not the agency you need.
It’s not all a matter of crisis communications, however. Sometimes, it’s as mundane as a shift in leadership at your company, a new hire, or an updated value proposition. Your PR team must know the ins and outs of your company communications, so don’t hesitate to share the “boring” stuff. I promise we need to know!
3. Be Responsive
This tip may seem obvious, but we want to highlight the importance of open communication. Your relationship with your marketing and PR firm won’t be successful without it!
The most crucial elements of a PR campaign are timeliness and punctuality. As PR professionals, we work on a date- and time-driven workflow, meaning all our tasks and responsibilities have a due date tied to them. One of the most painful client-agency relationships is one where it takes several days or weeks to hear back from the client on asset delivery or approvals.
At any one time, your PR team is working hard behind the scenes to make the magic happen, and what we need to do this is time. By granting your PR team lead time, fueled by responsiveness (and receptiveness), the relationship—and the project—will stay on track.
The other side of the coin is responsiveness to the agreed-upon reporting structure. Perhaps you agreed on weekly reporting to measure the results of your PR campaign. When that report comes in, be prepared to carefully review and provide feedback, even if it’s a simple “good job.” We want to know that we’re doing right by you and your product, and part of our success measurement is rooted in your continued feedback.
4. Plan for Future Success
Three months…six months…one year. It doesn’t matter the length of the campaign—one of the most critical aspects of a PR plan is how it will affect your long-term strategy.
By thinking ahead, you’ll not only help your PR agency see the bigger picture, but you’ll also maximize the effectiveness of the PR campaign so that you’re reaping the benefits long after it’s been formally concluded.
Planning for success might mean making a major financial decision to land a significant placement or influencer promotion or, just as likely, developing a sensible roadmap that includes PR.
5. Define and Measure Effectiveness
Before, during, and after the PR campaign has concluded are great times to take a breather and assess the campaign’s effectiveness, the coverage achieved, and where it makes sense to go next.
This is also the time to be transparent about how you view the results. Did your PR agency make an impact but not affect the bottom line? Or maybe they met the minimum number of press coverage clippings promised, but you feel they missed the mark on the type of coverage you were expecting? Let your PR firm know. They may already be devising a “Plan B,” or your feedback could help them develop a different strategy and new goals.
As you define and measure the effectiveness of your PR campaign, now is the time to ask yourself whether you are ready to commit to the shared vision or abandon ship and potentially partner with a new agency.
Either way, it’s always a great idea to speak frankly and openly with your PR agency about what you want to do next. Sometimes, it just takes a fresh vision and a new plan to get back on the right track or achieve a new stretch goal with an agency that already deeply cares about and understands your brand, product, or service.
Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing and PR Firm
These tips for working with a PR agency come from our experience working with countless clients in the video game industry. And we stand behind them. As a client, if you follow these best practices, you are sure to build a strong, profitable, and long-lasting relationship with your PR agency.
At first, working with a marketing and PR firm may feel daunting, but the best PR firms have established processes for working with clients. For example, here at UberStrategist, we have a publicity process that includes establishing a shared vision, creating a flexible outreach roadmap, collaborating on the most effective messaging, tracking results, and fine-tuning the campaign. You can learn more about our marketing and PR services here, and when you’re ready, reach out to us at moc.t1664033168siget1664033168artsr1664033168ebu@s1664033168elas1664033168.