Get the most out of your PR company

Jane Ward, director and founder of Team 4 Marketing, shares her five secrets for getting the most out of your relationship with your PR company.

There is often one main reason why you engage a PR company: to raise your profile. But how can you leverage your relationship with them to get the best return on your investment?

In my opinion, the best way is simply to make your PR company part of your internal marketing team not an external supplier you keep at arm’s length. Here are five things to think about.

in for long term

When you hire a new manager, you’re hiring them for the long term, knowing that as their knowledge of your business grows, so will the value they add to it. It’s the same with a PR agency.

A good PR company will be able to make a difference to your profile in a relatively short period of time. But the best results will come when you work with them over months and years.

Several of our clients have been with us for over 12 years and we’ve achieved some impressive growth for them. For instance, the Trojan Group has seen growth of around 300% due to the brand development carried out for the company of which PR has played a crucial role.

in the loop

It’s vital to keep your PR company in the loop. It’s the little conversations and insights into what’s been happening in your business that will spark the great ideas that create the best PR coverage.

Equally, don’t try to hide it when things go wrong. When your PR company has got a full picture of what’s really happening they’re in the best position to put the best spin on the positive areas of your business.

trust their judgment

When you hire a PR company you’re hiring their expertise and experience. These two things are what’s given them their reputation with industry press and it’s why they get offered good PR opportunities, direct from editors, that others might not.

The skills they have mean they’ll be able to take basic ideas and run with them. It also means they’ll challenge you and suggest stories that will carry weight and have good industry pick up. This expert input is one of the most valuable parts of your relationship with them and when you find a professional whose judgment you trust, your relationship with them and the results you get will go from strength to strength.

tap into their expertise

You probably hired your PR company so they could get you coverage in the industry press and so continue to build your brand. But the skills and knowledge they have mean they’re likely to be great at all the other communication elements too – newsletters, leaflets, sales letters, mailshots and help with your social media campaigns.

And by trusting them with your wider marketing picture you’re saving yourself valuable time and having what we term a ‘joined-up’ marketing approach. In short, the same tone and messages are running throughout your marketing to a greater effect.

sounding board

Your PR company is in a unique position. Very quickly, they will get to know your business very well and can look at the bigger picture for you. They’re very well placed to offer informed but impartial advice which can be useful at all levels of the business.

Just as with any relationship, you get out what you put in. My advice to you is based on the approach we take with our clients and the relationship they have with us.

We are lucky to have a portfolio of clients who know they can trust us to deliver the results they need and work closely with us so the relationship delivers on both sides.

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