How To Evaluate And Hire A PR Agency

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1. Let’s see the goods.

Ask to see portfolios and client specific case studies.  Decipher what is more important: A proven track record in generating numerous press hits for each client or numerous accounts with a handful of good hits per client.


2. Client turnaround.

An agency with a long roster of clients may sound impressive, but not if the clients are jumping ship elsewhere as soon as their contract is over.  Look for someone with long-term clients.  Anyone can get a brand to sign – a good agency will produce enough results to get their clients to renew their contracts.  Remember to look for quality vs. quantity.


3. Client to staff ratio.

If you’re dealing with a large firm, consider how many people will be assigned to your account according to expertise.  Keep in mind that the CEO you’re meeting with won’t handle your brand day-to–day.

It’s you’re right to know who is managing your account, so don’t hesitate to ask.  If you’re working with a freelancer, be sure to inquire on the number of clients they currently service and if they truly have the time to take on another. At the end of the day, you want someone – whether in-house, freelancer, boutique agency or firm – with a strong track-record and enough resources to meet your business need.


4. References

An agency with happy clients doesn’t mind sharing references. If they can’t put you in touch with even one current or former client, that’s definitely not a good sign.


PR is a no guarantees industry. I can’t stress enough to be extremely wary of someone who over promises. Bypass the ‘too good to be true’ guarantees and opt for the publicist with a great portfolio who will put in honest effort to back it up.

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