How to brief a PR agency
Public relations is one of the most cost-effective ways to build brand awareness and credibility through third-party endorsements.
To work at its best, a clear set of guidelines, ambitions and goals between the client and an agency is essential from the outset for a mutually beneficial, and long lasting, relationship.
Below are just a few pointers to set you on the right path.
Before even meeting, or requesting a pitch proposal, it will pay dividends to research which PR agency is best suited for your business.
For instance, Red Marlin specialises in automotive public relations, both business-to-business and business-to-consumer. Our industry knowledge and media contacts enable us to open doors on behalf of our clients to influential media outlets, which quite rightly, we would not expect to achieve in other areas.
Remember, sector specialism:
- Means the agency knows the right media people and relevant publications
- Means the agency understands the issues and can be up to speed faster
From the very beginning be specific as possible in what you want to achieve and make it clear what you see success as being.
For instance, are you looking to increase general brand awareness, are you hoping to attract investment, is it more backlinks to your website for SEO purposes, do you want to appear in specific publications?
Key objectives to consider:
- Who is your target?
- What do you want them to know?
- What do you want them to think?
- What is PR success for you?
- What are the KPIs?
These are just a few examples when briefing a PR agency, but making it clear from the start will avoid any confusion and future disappointment.
Time frames matter
If you are planning to launch a product, is there enough time for the PR agency to embark on its activities? It makes sense that the more time allowed gives enough space to hone the message, reach out to key influencers, prepare press packs, etc, all in time for the big unveil.
Also, if starting out on a more sustained campaign, agree what levels of media coverage, for example, to expect over a certain period of time.
Set a budget
Be realistic in what you hope to achieve depending on your budget.
So, be clear what the budget is and remember that the larger the budget, the more resources a PR agency can use on your behalf, whether that’s the number of people working as a creative team, the amount of content produced or various tactics employed.
Meanwhile, when briefing an agency be ready to divulge other information which will help them perform to their best ability on your behalf.
This might include:
- Who is your competition? What are they doing well?
- What internal resources do you have within the business to support any PR activity?
- Are there any internal processes and issues to adhere to?
- Have you previously employed a PR agency? If so, what worked well and what didn’t?
Ready for action
When everything has been agreed then it’s also vital to keep a constant flow of communication, whether that’s via email, the phone or online.
This, for example, can allow the client to inform the agency of any new developments, while for the agency it provides an opportunity to put forward new ideas, highlight successes and ask for feedback.