How to Know Which PR Agency is the Perfect Match for You

So your business has decided to hire a new PR agency. Maybe your company is in growth mode and you’re signing an agency for the first time, or maybe you’re looking for better results than what your last agency delivered. 

But how do you go about choosing the right one? You’ve tabbed through dozens of search results and read countless case studies. You’re not sure whether to trust online reviews. Friends and colleagues offer conflicting advice. There’s a lot riding on this decision.

Fortunately, picking the perfect PR agency doesn’t have to be so complicated. Take your top considerations and walk through this checklist. If an agency checks all 10 of these boxes, you have a winner!

1. The agency has been around for a while. 

Longevity isn’t everything, but the ability to last through the years is an indicator of strong leadership, reliable outcomes and a commitment to clients. Ask the agency how long they’ve been in business; if the answer is only a few years, you may want to look for a more established shop.

2. The agency is committed to outcomes. 

They embrace accountability. Where others shy away from measurable results and focus on vanity metrics, your perfect agency works to deliver tangible business outcomes. They’re constantly looking at the big picture, working to get your company where it needs to be today while planning for where it’s going tomorrow.

3. The agency has a proven track record of success.

Those claims of delivering outcomes aren’t just claims: they’ve brought receipts! The agency has case studies that detail big wins delivered for clients. They discuss insights gained from those wins and how they can be applied to help your business.

4. The agency has expertise in your industry. 

The best consumer retail PR agency in the world may not be of much value to a MarTech business. Your perfect agency has worked with other clients in your field. They speak with authority on industry trends and how they can be leveraged to benefit your business.

5. The agency has bona fide media connections.

This doesn’t just mean having a big rolodex (fine, Google Contacts list). Your perfect agency has long-running, meaningful relationships with notable journalists at relevant publishers. Relevant is the key word there: these publishers cover your industry and are read by your target audience.

6. The agency is fast and flexible.

They are reactive to the news landscape, moving quickly to contextualize their clients’ work within developing trends. They empower clients to keep pace with their ever-shifting industry.

7. The agency can do more than just PR. 

Press releases and earned coverage are great, but your perfect agency goes above and beyond. Not only can they secure a byline at a big publisher, they have an in-house content team that can help you craft it. They’re not just implementing tactics, they’re a strategic advisor that provides value to your overall business.

8. The agency is the right size for your business. 

A mega agency may not prioritize your business, while a boutique shop may not have the resources or connections to deliver outcomes.

9. The agency has done their research. 

They know the ins and outs of your business at the very first pitch meeting. After all, if they don’t demonstrate that level of personalized service and attention to detail before they win your business, what makes you think they’ll do so after you sign?

10. The agency feels like an extension of your team. 

Their team is responsive, friendly and easy to get along with. You can chat with them about weekend plans, the weird movie you just saw or that recent industry article and how it relates to your business. They clearly prioritize your needs and go above and beyond to ensure your business is moving toward desired outcomes.

Posted by Jeff Gray