PUBLISHED ON JUL 22, 2021
Help Us Help You: How to Make Your PR Agency Relationship a Success
By the time you’ve chosen a PR firm, you’ve likely done your diligence on why the particular chosen agency is a great fit. Maybe it’s the team, their experience, or just a feeling that they will be an excellent partner. So with that, rest assured that your PR agency wants nothing less than for you to be successful and for their relationship with you to bloom. Especially in tech, a great agency partner should be just as motivated as you are to help you hit your business goals.
Working with some of the leading tech companies and venture firms has taught us a great deal about what’s at the heart of the most successful relationships. Here are five best practices for ensuring that your agency partnership accomplishes what it’s designed to do:
- View the agency as a strategic partner.
When building a relationship with a PR agency, think of your agency as an extension of your internal team (and hopefully you’ve chosen a team that’s worthy of this!). When you embrace your agency as a valuable strategic partner, you can more comfortably trust their counsel and be open and transparent about your business needs. Remember that you hired the agency for a good reason– they had the expertise and knowledge you were seeking. Do what you can to set the team up for success so that they can weigh in on that strategy.
- Communicate wholly, honestly and frequently.
Honest and frequent communication about the good, the bad and the ugly is mission critical. The best clients feed agencies in-depth information early and often, no holds barred. If you’re only giving your agency half of the information, they can only go halfway. You never know what information may spark a storyline or a new PR strategy. One strategy is to stick to a weekly touch-base with your PR team to share new company goings-on, brainstorm ideas, discuss media opportunities and cover activity updates. Remember that the better you can help your agency understand what direction you are going, the better prepared they will be to help you get there.
- Provide access.
Allowing agencies the opportunities to fully learn your business requires detailed information and data. It also requires access to senior leadership that can provide necessary context to develop meaningful narratives. While time consuming, consistent access to senior executives provides agencies with the inspirational x-factor that is the backbone of great company storytelling. In addition, connecting agencies with your key spokespeople can go a long way in helping agencies understand the ins and outs of the narrative, not to mention prepare them for interactions with reporters.
- Get to Know the Team, and Let Them Get To Know Yours.
This one might seem like an added challenge in today’s remote world, especially as zoom fatigue reaches new heights. But whether you are working remote or (fingers crossed) in person, get to know the team you’re working with. First, that will help them work better with YOU. Maybe your leaders need 48 hours instead of 24 hours to turnaround responses. Maybe your leader has an amazing origin story that would make for incredible press fodder. The same is true for the leaders who have that X factor when it comes to providing news commentary. Or, maybe you have a reluctant CEO who kind of just hates doing media but knows that it has to be done for the company. Check, check and check. A good agency can help navigate through all of these issues to ensure maximum success, but only when there has been an opportunity to build rapport, and trust.
- Provide prompt feedback.
PR is all about deadlines and working quickly to meet the needs of the fast-paced media environment. The most successful agencies know how to navigate news trends in real-time and stay nimble in the process. But to successfully secure your brand’s point of view amidst the constancy of the digital world requires responsiveness from the client. A missed opportunity to provide commentary or failure to meet a deadline can quickly sour an established relationship with a reporter. The quicker you can provide feedback and weigh in on a quote or piece of content your agency develops, the easier it will be for your agency to deliver value to the reporters you’re trying to reach with your brand promise.
We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with our clients, and hope these tips help ensure productive relationships for your company!
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