After you have hired the public relations agency that aligns with your company’s brand, structure and goals, you will embark on a new relationship between your internal team and an outside entity tasked with generating impactful public relations results. Your public relations agency will not just be an outsourced marketing effort; they will become an extension of your team.
In order to have a successful public relations campaign that generates results like live interviews, media placements, search engine optimization value and brand reputation management, both parties will need to work to foster and maintain a working relationship built on honesty, communication and trust.
Honesty is always the best policy. A public relations agency is going to support your company’s brand and work to secure positive, impactful media opportunities for you to showcase your business and tell your story. Having open, honest conversations about newsworthy topics to discuss, upcoming announcements and goals you want to achieve will give the agency room to produce results.
It’s important to disclose all of the information when discussing things like upcoming announcements or company achievements so your public relations agency can be fully prepared to run an effective campaign. It’s also crucial to share your expectations so your agency knows what you’re looking for.
However, honesty is a two-way street. Your public relations agency is responsible for managing those expectations and delivering optimal outcomes. A good public relations agency will have the difficult conversations and be honest in their advisements and feedback. They will not tell you what you want to hear, but they’ll tell you what you need to gain success. Having a public relations agency that sells you empty promises with little transparency won’t be positive for your brand or your budget.
In today’s corporate world there are many ways to communicate with both your internal and external teams including emails, phone calls and Slack messages. Factoring in a public relations agency to your normal routine of communication will be an adjustment but after finding the one that works best for you, it will truly feel like they blend in.
The PR agency you decide to work with should be communicating with you clearly, frequently and directly by providing campaign updates in real time and working with you on the next opportunity. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly or monthly scheduled strategy calls or email updates, the communication between you and your public relations agency should be constant. While not overwhelming, there should never be a time where you wonder “when was the last time I heard from them?”
Another thing to remember is that, as the client, your public relations agency is always working on securing the next media placement and it’s important to work with them on scheduling opportunities and providing industry-related insight to newsworthy discussion topics. Responding in a timely manner is crucial as opportunities can come to fruition on a moment’s notice. In a rapidly evolving news cycle, there is little a public relations agency can do about missed opportunities if communication is lacking.
Any good relationship is built on trust. A relationship between a client and a public relations agency follows suit. It’s important to do your research on the agency you’re looking to hire as they are going to represent you in front of a large audience: the media. Trusting that agency with your brand’s reputation can be intimidating but it’s important to remember that they are the experts, and you chose them for a reason.
Public relations professionals are constantly thinking of ways to incorporate your brand into developing stories. They monitor the news cycles and your internal company updates, so they are always up to date. Public relations agencies also have relationships with their media counterparts which they will utilize to get you the best opportunities possible. Trust that they have your business’s goals top of mind.
A public relations agency will be an asset to your business and your brand. They will work with you and for you to generate the most impactful results that help you achieve your goals. Building a strong working relationship between you and your public relations agency with honesty, communication and trust is the key to maximizing the impact you desire.
Lauren Spain is an Account Executive at Flackable, an award-winning public relations agency representing financial and professional services brands nationwide. To learn more about Flackable, please visit flackable.com. Follow Lauren on Twitter at @laurspain.