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5 More Tips to Finding the Perfect PR Firm

Apr 2, 2008
If you are one of the thousands of businesses looking to gain national media attention for your company, products or services then you are probably facing the difficult decision of finding the right PR firm.

What can make this decision difficult is that there are so many different kinds of public relations firms out there. Some are local, some national. Some retainer based, some project based. So how do you know which PR firm will be the best fit for your objectives?

In the last part of the series, we shared the following 5 tips on choosing the right PR firm:
1. Find a firm that specializes in your industry.
2. Choose a firm that specializes in your medium of choice
3. Request sample campaigns.
4. Find a pay-for-performance firm.
5. Speak to the public relations firm's clients.

Here are 5 more tips on how to choose the RIGHT PR firm to get your message the media attention that you desire:

6. Be confident in their ability. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure that you are convinced that the PR firm will create, and execute, a successful campaign. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions, request copies of sample campaigns and then do a comprehensive review of all of the materials.

" I would suggest that before you make your final decision you talk to owners and definitely request a proposal ask the important questions. Where are they going to get you media exposure? How long the campaign will last? What are the goals of the campaign? How long will it take to meet these goals? How the PR firm answers these questions will ultimately determine the level of confidence you have in their ability to service your account.

7. Don't limit yourself to firms in your area. If you're looking for regional or national exposure don't limit your search to public relations firms that are located within your vicinity. "Many people believe that you need to have a firm located just down the street so that you can have regular face-to-face meetings with them. But this is not how it works. I have only had a face-to-face meetings with a handful of my clients. The reason for this is that I don't need to. All of a PR firm's work can be done via phone and email which is a far more efficient, and time saving, way to work." If your goal is to attain national media attention, find a firm that specializes pitching to the national media. A national media PR firm's skill level and specialization is what is important, not where they are located.

If your goal is to gain local media attention, this is when it is a good idea to look for a local firm. "As they are in the middle of the market you are after, their contacts and knowledge will be far more effective than that of a national firm."

8. Meet your Campaign Manager. There is one person in particular who plays a vital role in driving the success of at the PR firm: your Campaign Manager. Before you make the decision on which public relations firm you use, meet your Campaign Manager. Find out what their experience level is and how long they have been with the firm.

"A great nugget of information is that many Campaign Managers are rookies fresh from college. Even more frightening is that many national and local PR firms hire interns to handle the client accounts that they do not deem a 'top priority'." If you don't investigate the qualifications of your Campaign Manager, then how can you be confident that your campaign will be handled by a professional?

9. Find a public relations firm that believes in your message. The best type of PR firm is one that not only understands your message but also has enthusiasm for your topic. "If you find a firm like this, their enthusiasm for your message will show in the work that they do. The pitches and press releases will be more creative and their communications to the media will be attention grabbing and clear."

In order for a PR firm to successfully work for you, they need to understand your passion and be able to translate it into something that will be of interest to the masses. It can be quite costly if they misunderstand your point."

10. Trust your gut. "My final tip to choosing the right PR firm has everything to do with that almighty 'gut feeling'. When you are in the process of deciding if a PR firm is a right fit for your needs it is inevitable that you will have strong views about their work and approach. I would advise that even if everything looks fantastic on paper, or in a snazzy presentation, if you have absolutely any reservations think twice about choosing the firm."

Gut instincts tend to be accurate, so if the chemistry is off in any way, be weary of pushing the working relationship forward. There is nothing worse then finding out your instincts were right when it is too late!

Well there you go! The final five tips on how to choose the right public relations firm for you!
About the Author
Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on publicity for authors for nearly two decades as CEO of Event Management Services, Inc (EMSI). If you would like to receive her free Ebook "How to Be a Great Talk Radio Guest" visit http://www.emsincorporated.com.
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