With the New Year approaching, many companies will begin to think about hiring a public relations agency in 2013. As a firm that specializes in public relations and social media, IntegratePR understands how important it is for businesses to work with a public relations agency. PR professionals strive to protect and improve their clients’ reputation, while also being their clients’ biggest advocates. PR agencies can help with brand awareness, crisis communications, social media presence and much more. But in some cases, companies don’t want to hire an agency for those reasons. There are times when someone wants to hire a public relations agency for all the wrong reasons, and as a result, will never be satisfied.
While strong goals and high hopes are appreciated, PR professionals have to keep a level head and know exactly what their agency is capable of. Every public relations professional will have to disappoint a client at some point in their career and tell them their goals are simply out of reach for the time being. It’s important that both the public relations agency and their clients understand what’s expected of them. If you’re considering hiring a PR agency in 2013, make sure you’re doing it for valid reasons and choosing the best firm for your business. Make sure to not hire an agency for the following reasons, which Entrepreneur listed as “Seven Stupid Reasons to Hire a PR Agency.”
- “You want to be on Oprah.” The Entrepreneur article was published in 2007, so while Oprah is no longer on air, you get the gist. Though major TV appearances can boost a company’s sales, the chance of being on a nationally broadcasted show like Oprah is slim. Wouldn’t you rather your agency spend their time working for more reachable goals instead of devoting all their energy to an appearance for you on Dr. Oz?
- “You Want to Spend Less Time on PR.” Even if you hire an agency, you will still have to spend time on public relations for your company, maybe even more than before. It’s dire that initiatives are decided internally so the agency can properly deliver you company’s message.
- “The Agency is Willing to Take Equity in Lieu of Cash.” Cash is king. Any agency that is willing to accept equity most likely won’t focus on your company as much as they will on actual paying clients.
- “It’s the Least Expensive Agency You Could Find.” Agencies are like leather: the lower the price, the lower the worth. It’s as simple as that.
- “Agency Fees Are on a Per Media Placement Basis.” Wouldn’t you rather have quality over quantity? One spot on a major network is worth much more than three placements on unknown outlets.
- “The Agency is Guaranteeing a Minimum Number of Media Placements.” Same as above – quality over quantity!
- “You Want Media Placements in the Next 30 Days.” Entrepreneur said it best in their article: “Any agency that promises hits within 30 days is full of you-know-what.”
While some think that public relations professionals are miracle workers (and yes, sometimes they are), there’s truly only so much that can be done. It’s important for companies to decide what they realistically want to accomplish for their business before hiring an agency. On the flipside, when working with a new client, it’s necessary for a public relations agency to figure out exactly what they will be able to deliver to the client and when. Neither a company nor an agency should lower their standards by any means, but instead develop a realistic idea of what they want together as a team, which will ultimately end up benefitting both parties in the long run.
Has someone ever tried to hire your company or agency for a bad reason or with unrealistic expectations? Let us know on our Facebook page!