Public relations firms offer a wide variety of services, and how they can help your company succeed may differ from agency to agency. When you’re looking for a public relations company to represent your brand, you want a firm that is going to be a good fit for your corporate culture, listens to your objective needs and above all, is going to be successful at helping your brand reach its objectives.
So, how can you distinguish a top quality PR company from one that’s mediocre? Understanding the qualities of an excellent public relations firm will help you know what to look for when deciding which agency to work with.
6 Top Qualities of a PR Agency
Here are the top six qualities that make up a great public relations firm.
1. Reputation – A top quality public relations firm will have an excellent reputation for both their work and their network relationships. They will also have extensive connections with media professionals such as journalists, reporters, freelancers, editors, producers and media talent. A good way to learn about reputable PR firms is to ask various media professionals who they recommend.
A superior public relations firm will also be known for their insightful work. Media professionals will recognize their ability to create intriguing pitches to grasp the attention of the appropriate media groups, and clients will know them for their proven success.
2. Relations – A quality public relations firm will also demonstrate great rapport with clients, media and the public. The work they produce will be trustworthy and catered to spreading the proper messaging for a client’s product or service. As the client, you also want a firm that is going to listen to you and be attentive to your needs. You can tell if a company is going to take the time to listen to your needs from an initial consultation. Make consultation appointments with several public relations companies and get a good feel for how they listen to your specific objectives. Compare proposed strategies and look for a firm that is going to go the extra mile for your needs. Watch out for conveyer belt-like practices that offer a set plan; there is no one-size-fits-all in PR.
3. Creativity – To stand out among the competition, a public relations team needs to demonstrate creative talents in many forms. Pitch ideas must be innovative and logical to grasp the attention of the media in a highly competitive environment. Media presentations must be conveyed clearly and vibrantly without overdoing it. In all aspects of public relations work, creativity is an essential skill that every team member must possess.
Check the websites and social media channels of different public relations firms to see what kind of content they produce. Does it capture your attention? If not, they probably won’t capture your audience’s attention either.
Look for a PR firm that produces compelling content and leaves you wanting more.
4. Metrics for Success – To prove that a public relations firm is going to bring your company success, they need to have some form of results data or metrics for success; otherwise, it’s hard to trust that the PR agency you’re hiring is going to be a worthwhile expense.
Some examples of metrics are:
- Conversion rates: the percentage of website traffic that accomplishes the objective.
- Share of voice: percentage of all online content produced by a company compared to their competitors.
- Social media engagement: the number of shares, likes or comments coverage receives.
- Domain authority: SEO algorithm that dictates how well a site ranks on search engines.
- The number of media placements achieved for other clients.
Depending on what services you are looking for, the relevant metrics for success are going to vary. Do your research on public relations metrics in regard to the services you are seeking.
5. Effective Communication – Being an effective communicator is essential to developing good relationships with clients and media professionals. Not all public relations specialists are good communicators. An excellent public relations communicator will be able to convey ideas in a persuasive and convincing manner. This means their words are concise, they avoid rambling and they are easy to understand.
Additionally, public relations specialists who demonstrate effective communications skills will be able to convey ideas, as well be active listeners. They will listen to your needs and ideas, then provide constructive feedback to create the best strategy for your business.
Effective communication also extends to writing. Public relations companies need to demonstrate a high level of written communicative ability. This is important, as much of the work done in a PR firm is in written form. PR writers need to be able to adjust their writing style depending on the content they are writing and the client they are working for.
Check out the blog articles, social media posts and media pitches produced by a PR firm to get a good idea of their writing style.
6. Relevant experience – Finding a public relations firm that’s familiar working with your industry is essential. If you’re a law firm seeking to grow your brand image, hiring a PR firm focused on the tech industry probably isn’t going to do you much good.
A public relations firm should also know which journalists, media professionals and outlets to pitch content to in your industry. Ask the PR firms you are interested in working with about what companies they’ve done work for and request to see case studies or sample work to get a better idea of what the company can do in your industry. It’s also a smart idea to look at public relations firms that companies in the same industry as yours have worked with.
Don’t Hire A Public Relations Agency In Haste
There are many factors to consider when hiring a public relations firm for your business. It can be daunting and even quite stressful. However, you want to be sure that you are getting your money and time’s worth with any company you hire, so don’t be too quick to make a decision. Take your time and do extensive research on the public relations agencies you vet. By checking that they have these six top qualities of a PR agency, you will have a better understanding of what to look for in each company you interview. Hopefully, your brand will find the best public relations firm to represent your company. Good luck!
Are You Interested In Learning More?
If you would like to know more about our capabilities in PR and how we can help propel your business to success, please contact us at Three Girls Media for a complimentary consultation. We have a full staff of seasoned marketing and public relations professionals who are eager to help you reach your PR goals.
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