What to Avoid When Searching a Good Public Relations Firm.
When it comes to leading your company’s marketing efforts, there’s a lot to handle and when your inbox is filling up and your desk is covered in to-do lists, it’s easy to hand off your responsibilities to your staff or an agency. But when it comes to hiring the right PR agency, you need to be careful to not fall for promises that seem too good to be true.
Babak Zafarnia, president of Praecere Public Relations, recently wrote an article for PR Daily, on the types of PR agencies that should be avoided. Here are the 5 types of agencies she identifies along with my thoughts as they relate to the building product industry.
1.“You, my client, are ALWAYS right, and I ALWAYS agree with everything you say.”
A good PR agency should question your goals, how you’re reaching them and provide intelligent background that you can’t offer yourself. Much like a good pro dealer helping their builder build an efficient home, it’s the dealers job to question the specs and make recommendations.
2. “Of course I can get your op-ed in The New York Times.”
No one should be making promises like this. Receiving coverage is a challenge that takes persistence, relationships and talent.
3. “Our logistical paradigm is to incentivize positive optics for your verticals.”
Avoid agencies that speak a language you don’t understand. If you aren’t comfortable with what their saying, chances are media reps aren’t either.
4. “We no teh powr oaf grate PEE r.”
In an industry where first impressions make a big difference, you need to be able to trust that your agency is going to represent you as smart and detail-oriented, not sloppy and rushed. Be sure to spell check, provide a consistent boiler plate, and represent your company well with every news release. Don’t pick a PR company who misspells things!
5. “Good news—I told that reporter to go #^&* himself.”
This is an obvious one, but your PR agency needs to go beyond being polite – they need the media and public to like and respect them, so it reflects well on your company. They also need to be careful to never lose their temper or act out of personal anguish; you must be able to trust them to keep a level-head, no matter the situation.
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