If you're about to hire a PR firm, you want to do your research. Know when to hire a PR firm, questions to ask, and what public relations can really do for your business.
Before you sign the contract, clearly set your expectations. The last thing you want to do is sign a year-long contract only to discover you've made a terrible mistake.
To make your partnership with your (almost) new public relations firm, outline a clear plan of attack for these 4 criteria.
The 5 W's
Brainstorm what success truly looks like for your business, and have an open conversation about your expectations with your team. Then, communicate to your public relations firm where you want to be seen and why these publications resonate with you.
Before signing a contract, ask how long it will be before you meet your goals. During this meeting, also discuss how they plan on getting these results.
Be clear how much you'd like to talk with your public relations account manager. Also, discuss who you'd like to have in on the meeting. It doesn't hurt to say what you'd like the turn around on e-mail and phone responses to be too.
The more clear you are about how much and what type of communication you're expecting from your public relations firm, the happier you'll both be.
Make a Measure
Once you see public relations hits rolling in, have a plan for comprehensive measurement.
For most firms, this means a monthly report, a six month review, and a final year wrap up.
However, ask your firm what their approach to measurement is. Then, customize it to make it work for your business.
Of course, your public relations firm will be talking about your hits on their online newsroom, their social media networks, and your business's social media too (if they manage it).
However, you need to do a little bit of work on your end to in order to have the most impact.
In general, it's good to share your good news with your team--especially if they were quoted in a piece. Hosting the article on your business's website also establishes credibility. Finally, incorporating the articles into a monthly newsletter gets the word out internally.
Make the most out of your public relations effors by maximizing both of your actions.