Choose A Firm As Though Your Business Depends On It
Choosing a public relations or marketing firm should be based on your situation and the goals you set for your company. Do you have an internal team or person that leads your public relations and marketing plan? Do you want a firm to provide turnkey solutions?
The best way to choose a public relations or marketing firm is to be as clear as possible when talking to them about your expectations. What you need and what you want may be two different things, but your public relations and marketing firm should be aware of both. Whatever that job might be, you want your firm to get the job done.
Some companies look for a new public relations or marketing firm by testing one firm against another in a presentation "bake-off." Be aware, however, that firms will most likely pull out all their big guns for a presentation. Unfortunately, the people who made the initial presentation may not be the people who work on your account on a day-to-day basis. Demand that only the day-to-day account team give the presentation.
There is a better way: Ask to talk to the person or persons responsible for your account. Talk with them to see if your company and the firm are a good match--it won't take long to find out. Remember, this is a partnership, good chemistry can go a long way.
Some questions to ask the firm and yourself include:
Keep in mind that the size of the firm should not matter in your final decision. Both big and small firms have their pluses and minuses. Big firms have resources, but access to senior members may be difficult. Small firms provide access straight to the top, but may be lacking in resources and working on several accounts. Go for the best fit and feel.
In the broadcast, teleproduction and professional audio industries, there are bound to be competitive conflicts as companies find themselves in "co-opetition" with each other. This is especially true in industries where OEM agreements are the norm. Keep in mind, there is only a conflict if you feel one exists. Your public relations and marketing firm should have a disclosure clause in its contract that states you will be informed should they find themselves in any activity that would or could conflict with your best interests.
The final point is cost. How much you should budget depends on the services you require. Try to figure out what your competition is spending and how much you are willing to spend.
Silverknight Consulting works with a variety of fee structures:
Whichever fee structure works best for you remember one thing: you get what you pay for. Also, contracts usually have a 30-day cancellation clause so that neither party is locked into a partnership that, for whatever reason, isn't working.
Once you have a contract, the first project should be a needs assessment. The needs assessment will tell you how your current PR and/or marketing efforts relate to your goals for success and what changes the firm recommends .
We invite you to learn more about Silverknight Consulting and the services we offer by exploring the topic links listed at left, and by contacting us at 307-264-2752.
Silverknight Consulting, Inc.
30 N Gould St., Suite 5999
Sheridan, WY 82801
Copyright (c) 2014-2016 by Silverknight Consulting, Inc.