3 Tips For Finding The Right PR Agency

3 Tips For Finding The Right PR Agency
As your business grows odds are good you’re going to need a PR plan either with an in-house devoted staff member or for most entrepreneur’s an outside agency. PR is an important way to garner more attention and visibility for you that goes outside the traditional marketing routes and instead focuses on editorial content, media outlets and other organic (and free!) press coverage opportunities. Finding a PR agency is a cornerstone of every entrepreneur’s business but making sure you find the right agency for you is crucial to your successful partnership.

Here are three tips for finding the right PR agency for you and your business.

Investigate Their Client Roster

Every PR agency should be able to disclose a list of their clients. Just like any other vendor or an employee they should also have a portfolio of work examples for campaigns they have done for other clients. They should also be able and happy to provide you with the names of several clients for referrals if you want to ask existing clients about their experience. Do they represent clients similar to you? What kind of campaigns have they successfully completed for other clients and how can they use their expertise to benefit your entrepreneurial business? Ask the right questions and investigate the answers.

Read Up On Their Corporate Culture

You shouldn’t be satisfied with just a job well done by a vendor. You want to know that what they do as an agency is aligned with what you do. How do they treat their employees? A visit to the office for a meeting should tell you a lot about their corporate culture. Is their mission statement visible? What is it? Do the staff look happy to be there or like they’re going through the motions? These are the people who will be representing you to the media and outside world so you want to know that the staff is excited to work with you and enjoy what they do. Personal passion makes a big difference in the effort people put into their work. How are they involved in the community? Do they give back as an office to any community development or charities? Do your due diligence and make sure you pay close attention in the office for your consultation that the agency is a place you would want to represent you.

Pair Up With An Agency That Matches Your Experience

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake when they start out of wanting the most elite PR agencies. Who does Bill Gate’s PR — that’s who you want, right? Wrong. The truth is that you should consider an agency whose expertise and staff match where you’re at in your business. If you’re just starting out it can make a lot of sense to find a quality, but up and coming agency. Why? You can grow together and frankly, they’re going to want your business and work hard for you. When you’re a small fish in a big pond, it may be harder to find the personal attention and big campaigns you want. When you find an agency where you’re an important client to their bottom line, it makes sense they will hustle more to get you the service and attention you’ll want.

Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs.org, BizWarriors.com and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley).