I have recently discovered that a large and very well known PR organisation is charging its clients an arm and a leg for PR services. You may say, well that’s what most of the large PR organisations do.

Yes, very true. But in this case, this PR firm is not actually delivering on media clippings for the customer. The customer ends up receiving an invoice at the end of the month well over R100k, with little delivery and even less value. It seems that the customer is paying for all the red tape and administration seemingly necessary from the PR company’s side.

Going the “Big brand” route when selecting a PR agency is not always the smart thing to do.

With that in mind, I have listed a few important points to consider when choosing the right PR agency for you:

  1. Experience counts: Select a company or individual who has the experience in your industry. It helps if they know your business challenges and your targeted customers’ media.
  2. Are they prepared to really understand your business? Ensure that the PR agency works closely with you to understand your business goals and strategy. The two go hand in hand.
  3. Can they deliver? Request customer references, press clippings and article samples. Speak to their customers and even to the media. Journalists will recommend good PR agencies.
  4. Do they produce quality content? This is one of the most important aspects I believe since the PR company will be representing your brand. Ask to see samples of articles written and published.
  5. How do they measure and report? Discuss and review their reporting methods. It is critical to ensure that you understand exactly what metrics are put in place so that there is no disconnect when it comes to reviewing contractual obligations.
  6. How much do they charge? Is their fee reasonable according to your budget? Based on your findings do you believe that they will add the necessary value to your business’s marketing objectives?
  7. Do they show passion and enthusiasm? This may sound like a strange point to think about, but people who are passionate about their jobs tend to achieve better results.
  8. Finally, go with your gut feel. At the end of the day, you will want to work with someone whom you can trust and rely on to represent you and your business.

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