Part 2: How to work with a PR agency

Posted on: February 6th, 2009

Here’s part two of our post on how to work with a PR agency (part one here if you need it).  These tips can make the difference between having an excellent experience or one you’d rather forget.

Integration

    • PR works best when fully integrated with your business and the rest of your marketing mix.
    • Ensure that your PR agency is looped in with your other agencies and staff and share details of strategies and campaigns.  Share outcomes and learnings also to drive efficiency and success.

Reporting

  • It is important to agree at the outset how your agency is going to report to you. This can be done through work in progress meetings (WIPs) on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis and monthly/annual reports. All of these can be done either over the phone or in face-to-face meetings.
  • If reports need to be forwarded on to senior management or other teams in your company (e.g. sales)  who may not understand what PR is or does, make sure they contain analytics that are relevant to them e.g. facts and figures, press coverage or messages mentioned, so that it really triggers their interest and ultimately their buy in.


Results

  • Regularly evaluate the agency’s deliverables to see how they’re tracking and to consider whether they need to be adjusted.
  • Conduct regular and honest reviews of progress and achievements to ensure the relationship ticks along smoothly and that any issues are dealt with immediately.
  • At Stellar* we have annual ‘health checks’ with accounts and clients with 360 feedback.  After campaigns or events we report on key learnings.
  • Recognise that PR takes time.  Unlike advertising or other communication methods where you pay for a space in a newspaper and something appears, PR is long term investment, which may mean your story will not appear for several weeks or ever months after it has been pitched in.  Also bear in mind that journalists may have their story cut at the last minute by their editor, and that nothing is guarented.

So, that’s that.  Now you have your new knowledge, go forth, embrace your agency and make them your best friend!

For further reading, check out the Cooler Insights blog

Anything else to add? Please post a comment below.

Posted by Helen Lear

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