Your PR Company Was Hired for a Reason – What Value Should They Deliver?
As the owner or senior leader of a company, you’ve made the wise choice to retain a public relations company. Your chosen firm should be able to ensure that your company gets the media coverage it needs, that any negative press or momentary crises are managed, and that all areas of media are leveraged to full effect.
If They are Failing, Maybe It Is Time To End the Relationship?
You can get nothing for nothing, so why pay for it? If your chosen public relations company isn’t providing any tangible benefit to your business, it is time to challenge them! If they continue to fail after you’ve addressed the lack of results, it is time to fire them. There are several common signs that indicate a need to sever relations with your public relations company. One or more of these indicators can be the catalyst for a conversation around the ultimate effectiveness of your chosen PR firm.
Common Signs that You Need to Fire Your PR Company
- The PR firm doesn’t understand the business goals of your brand – It isn’t about a 20% spend on social media and a 30% buy of local advertisement. It is about knowing where you see your brand in five years and what it is going to take to get there. It is a concern if your PR firm isn’t tuned into the overall goals of your brand.
- Minimal or inconsistent communication – Public relations firms need to communicate with their clients. Whether the news is a success or an opportunity, PR firms must establish a communication frequency with their clients and keep this cadence consistent throughout the business relationship.
- Your competition gets all of the coverage – Your goal as a business owner should be to capture market share and increase awareness about your company culture and brand identity. It is a problem if the competitor down the street is the only one receiving positive coverage. This may be the time to question the media connections and networks that your PR firm has established. If their network is insufficient – fire them.
- Excuses, excuses, excuses! – Public relations is a science, and in any scientific venture there is the need for frequent experimentation. Sometimes these experiments provide wildly successful results – sometimes they are disastrous. If your PR firm provides an excuse for everything they do wrong, it may be time to question their tactics.
- They don’t leverage social media – Public relations firms have to stay on the cutting edge of the social media revolution. Audiences today claim that they are more likely to make a buying decision based on the anonymous feedback on a retailers site than they are from a multi-million dollar ad buy. PR firms that lack the know-how to effectively integrate social media are leaving you high and dry.
Your Target Audience Doesn’t Know Who You Are
A primary goal of any public relations firm is to increase the awareness of their client. If your target audience doesn’t know who you are, this may point to two potential issues: Either your PR firm doesn’t understand your strategy and is targeting the wrong crowd or your PR firm may be ineffective at delivering the necessary message to your target audience – which might be a bigger concern than targeting the wrong group. Both are fundamental errors that point to a lack of communication between the company and the PR firm. A refocusing of efforts on a different group may make it possible to capture the target audience with some minor changes in strategy. Ensure that your hard earned money is being spent on a firm that can drive your core message home to your target demographic.
Your PR Firm is Your Partner in Growing Your Business
You need a public relations firm that can be your partner as you grow your business.
With market competition at an all time high and consumers aggressively guarding their discretionary funds, you need a firm that can reach your target audience and help deliver your message. If you are witnessing any of the signs as listed above, it may be time to have “the talk” with your current PR firm.