What to look for when hiring a PR firm

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Thinking about hiring a PR firm?

Before you do that, consider these top tips to make sure you make the right hire. The wrong PR firm can cost you thousands of dollars and a lot of wasted time in the long run.

1). Before you do hire a PR firm, decide what your goals are both for the long term and the short term. It's important to know whether you need to build brand awareness, generate more sales, attract investors, hire and retain better talent, or simply send more traffic to your website. 

2). When searching for the right PR firm, speak to all of the people that will be on the team managing your account. It's critical that you get along with those people and trust them to do the job. If you don't like or trust the people on your team, then it's not going to work.

3). Ask to meet with the team leader and for a strategy based on your company's needs. Some agencies will give you a generic template they use for all new business, and others will meet with you face-to-face to discuss the strategy.

Although I don't provide custom proposals any longer, I still meet with the prospective client to discuss their objectives and verbalize the strategy to ensure we are the right fit and I can provide value. If they're based in another city or country and I can't meet them, then I will schedule a series of Skype meetings to make sure we all feel comfortable working together.

4). When you're scouting different PR firms, you want to consider the size of the firm. The bigger the firm, the bigger the monthly retainer will be. If you have a $3,000 per month budget, you may want to considering a PR consultant or a smaller boutique firm that specializes in media relations and in your industry only.

However, it's important to note that if a boutique firm has two or three people on the team but offers 10 different services like event production/runway show production, video production, graphic design, social media marketing, branding, media relations, celebrity placement, influencer marketing, email marketing, and digital advertising, then it's safe to say that those in the firm aren't experts in all areas. I'd question how proficient they really are.

As someone who owns a boutique PR firm with a very small team, I know from experience that we can only have expertise in two or three core areas. We only offer services in media relations,  branding, and retail sales strategy. And here at FemFounder.co, we only offer media relations and branding strategy services.

If you decide to go with a mid-to-large sized firm, then you'll pay at least $15,000 per month. So you need to decide what your objectives are and the resources you need.