Posts Tagged ‘Choosing a PR Agency’

It’s hard to find the perfect shade of yellow when you’re a blonde?

May 4, 2017

Lena Dunham at the Golden Globe Awards

For decades it was suggested that blondes simply can’t wear yellow, as it clashes with their hair and gives their skin an unpleasant, pallid undertone. This might be true of certain yellows (Lena Dunham is just not having a good day here), but sometimes when you find that perfect shade/tone it can look fantastic!

With that said, this can also be true when looking for the perfect supplier of a service you require for your business. In this scenario, the client is the blonde individual and the shade of yellow is the service you require – Procurement!

PR is a service that some businesses, not all, often don’t clearly understand in terms of what the service is or how it can benefit them.

There are many elements to a PR campaign and more and more agencies are now adapting to the changing world of technology as well as developing extensions such as design, social media, digital support, and training.

For a business, it is important to find your perfect PR agency match (your shade of YELLOW!), but you also must be ready for PR and understand what type of support you need from an agency.

The following are some tips that will help guide you before contacting any agency:

1. Are you ready to share your company’s expectations, your business plans and goals?

This is important. An agency will need to know what direction the company is looking to go in and where they see themselves in the future. This can decide the concepts and angle the agency may suggest to you – is it a project requirement or a more long term like a retainer?

2. How much time are you willing to give to the PR campaign?

Your agency will require ease of access to the information they need to tell your story. The campaign can only go so far and move at the pace agreed if all parties are willing to invest the required time. Be sure you have a strong team that can help facilitate this.

3. Be realistic with your expectations re: Return on investment

This will not happen overnight and in reality you should expect to see media interest within 2-6 months of the campaign (this can be industry sensitive).

4. Social Media should be your best friend!

It’s time to embrace the online social space. This can be supported by your agency but no one knows your company better than you and it would always be recommended that the voice of the company is visible across all platforms – strategic plans can be created here to give direction.

5. Prepare to be open minded and uncomfortable

If you are looking to stand out from a sea of similar companies, products etc then you must be open to thinking outside the box but also within relevance and respect to your brand identity. It’s important to grab some of the spotlight!

6. Who will be holding your hand?

When you first meet your prospective PR agency you will more than likely meet a senior, super professional senior team. Our super tip here is to request that you meet the full team who will actually be doing the work on your account – do you like them, are they right for your business, do they seem to grasp what you are trying to achieve?

7. Financial expectations

Be realistic! You’re a business person that has a particular value on the work you do and so does the PR agency. This all boils down to what your needs and expectations are, as well as the time that you’re willing to give. All these factors can make a huge difference to the value, not just in relation to cost but overall results.

 

Golden Globe Awards

Now it’s time to look fantastic!

If you take all of this on board, approaching an agency should be easier with these points in mind and you will be on the right road to finding your PR agency match!

Your perfect YELLOW!

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications in our Dublin office. Fuzion provide Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Social Media Management services from our office in Dublin and Cork.

 

 

10 Factors to consider when choosing a PR company

May 9, 2015

Confusion

So you’ve recognised the value of PR and have made the decision to engage with a PR company so that you can take your business to a new level of success – with many PR options out there how do you decide which one to go with?

Time and time again we hear from people and businesses who have had a bad experience with PR agencies and this is often down to them selecting the wrong one for them. Price may often have been the deciding factor but it may have been something else.

When choosing a PR agency we suggest that you need to look at the overall agency and take a number of factors into consideration.

1. Experience

Does this agency have the experience to get you the results you need for your business?

Look for evidence of this experience but also make sure you know the experience of the team that will be assigned to your account. Make sure you meet them as part of the pitch process.

At Fuzion we have a team of 12 professionals and each one of us brings different expertise and experience from a variety of industries.

Our team is made up of PR experts, social media experts, former journalists, bloggers, event management specialists, graphic designers, media trainers, crisis management professionals and people with senior management experience in industry.

For every client we pick the best mix from our team to work on that particular account. Your work will never be outsourced.

2. Sector experience versus potential conflict

This can be a tricky one. You need to be convinced that the agency understand your business and will be capable of delivering for you.

Sometimes a lot of experience in a particular sector can be a big advantage but it is not always necessary.

For example if an agency works for 30 hotels this means they know the sector well but it could mean that you could end up competing for coverage within the agency itself.

Look for good solid examples of previous and current clients to assure yourself.

3. Location

Where the agency is based can be quite important. Think about who and where your target market is as it’s very important you choose a PR company that can reach them and has good relationships with both national and regional press.

Their location is also important for your meetings with them – you can achieve a lot with email and by phone but you can’t beat face to face meetings.

For this reason we have offices based in Dublin and Cork so we have coverage in the two biggest urban locations in Ireland and have developed relationships with media here and across the country.

4. Testimonials

Who better to turn to than clients who have worked with the PR agency before?

Look for testimonials from current and former clients and see if the PR agency achieved good results for them and whether they would be happy to recommend them.

5. Price

Price is always going to be a factor, but always bear in mind you get what you pay for. Going for the cheapest option is not always the best option.

Make sure how much work is being done for the price and be sure about what happens if extra work in required.

Its important to check the seniority and expertise of the people that are working on your account – price can be quite relative.

The most important thing here is not getting the cheapest quote possible, it’s getting value and results for your money.

6. Personality

Does the agency have a heart and soul? What are the personalities of the people in the agency like? Can you trust and depend on them?

At Fuzion we pride ourselves on going the extra mile and going above and beyond for our clients. That’s an easy thing to say but it really is true ..look for those testimonials!

One thing we never do is give up or switch off just because we have worked all the hours allocated or the work day is over. All of us on the team have all had sleepless nights when big client events are approaching or gone through blood, sweat and tears for clients that may have been difficult to get coverage for. We don’t give up!

We do this because we genuinely care and want to make sure our clients get the results they are expecting and we get the satisfaction of doing a great job. At Fuzion when you engage our services you become part of the Fuzion family and this sets us apart from competitors.

7. Agency Size

Will the agency be able to cope with your workload and if there is an unexpected peak for some reason can this be catered for?

In your initial briefings try to assess the workload of the team and try to assess if you will get the time and attention that is promised.

8. Pecking Order and exclusivity

Will your business be of sufficient interest to the PR agency? Are you the type of account that they are excited about or would you be one of many and down in their pecking order of ‘importance’?

I once heard a successful entrepreneur give a clever piece of business advice “Employ a Big 4 accountancy firm and a hungry PR agency“. One gives you automatic credibility and the other will fight hard to win you even more!

9. Full Service and Social Media

Does the PR agency offer more than just PR?

With many agencies this is not the case. Our approach is that we offer a solution and not a range of services.

We build and execute plans for our clients that will achieve their objectives and we do this with a comprehensive toolkit, which we apply as required.

The client should brief one service provider not half a dozen to achieve their objectives.

Expertise in social media, or parallel media as we refer to it is a critical part of all plans that we execute for clients. To assess the agency expertise in this area have a good look at their own social media presence to assure you that they do know what they are doing.

10. Passion test!

This really is the big one and if this doesn’t exist then don’t even bother taking into account the other factors.

When you have your initial briefing meetings with the PR agency you need to assess how passionate they were about your plan.

Do you see enthusiasm, do you see creativity and do you see real evidence that the team who worked on your plan put in a lot of effort into something that was written just for you.

Make sure they didn’t just show you credentials and made their pitch solely on previous work and clients.

Good luck with your search and it goes without saying …you know where we are!

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel Cox is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

 


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