Are you looking to showcase your company in the press? Then a PR agency is often the best solution. Their expertise and creativity can get your business the kind of coverage that will boost your profile. However, there are also some best practices in working effectively with a PR partner. 5 best practices to set the stage for a successful collaboration:
1. Make sure you have an idea of what you want
Your instructions should be about more than “getting more visibility”. You must have identified an overall strategy, the objective you wish to pursue, as well as the budget and time that you can spend on these activities. You need to be able to give an insight in what direction you want to take: do you want to increase your brand awareness, attract new customers or develop a reputation as a first-class employer? The type of message and media to be targeted depend on the answers to these questions. Your agency can, of course, advise you and help you shape your strategy but, first, you must be sure what you want to communicate and why.
2. Be available
Your agency needs you, not only to “feed” it but also to answer specific questions from journalists. Establish who will be the main spokesperson, so that you can be sure that information is coordinated and communicated every day. And be as flexible as possible when you need to give an interview. Giving journalists the impression that their article is at the bottom of your priority list is not an option if you want to build up long-standing and positive relationships.
3. Inform your agency
Consider your agency as an extension of your company. Stay in touch with and inform it if something happens. Include it in various mailing lists, for example, so that it has as much information as possible. The information may seem unimportant to you but it can have “media potential”, which your agency cannot afford to miss pursuing.
Whether you have good news or bad news to announce, tell your agency in good time so that it can organise matters in the best possible way. There is nothing more frustrating than missing out on visibility during an important announcement due to a lack of time. This rule is all the more important when there is bad news! This allows you to prepare your “defence”, perhaps even to prepare some proactive form of communication on the subject. In this way, it is much easier to build up your own version of the events than to be compelled to react to others’ stories.
5. Be patient
Relationships with the press are developed step by step. It often takes time to achieve good regular results. Do not give up after a few weeks or months. You can rest assured: it really is worth the effort!