Bringing on a PR firm is a big decision – and there’s no better time to decide if it’s right for your business than when you’re already making big decisions about your future strategy. For many of us, the end of the year is when we can pause from the day-to-day mania and have these bigger-picture conversations to align on goals for the coming year and how to achieve them.
As you’re sitting in meetings over the next few weeks brainstorming what you want to accomplish in 2022, you may be ready to consider a PR firm. Here’s how to know if the timing is right for you…
Your goals are set – and PR can help advance them.
Are you trying to drive brand awareness? Something more tangible like increasing sales? Generate visibility for your executive team? These are all good goals that PR can support, but you should also have specific goals outlined for your PR program. Know how tactics like bylined articles, speaking arrangements, industry awards, and good old media relations can influence your audience.
You have the bandwidth (and budget) to manage an agency.
Finding and managing a PR partner does take time – so you should have a designated internal contact available to correspond with the agency to handle responses, oversee campaigns, and communicate up the ranks on progress and outcomes.
A dedicated budget to support the program is also essential. Media relations and building a buzz takes time, so budgeting for at least six months of PR is an ideal amount of time to see some real traction. There’s nothing worse than getting momentum with the media and then having to pull the plug because you run out of budget.
You don’t need instant results.
PR isn’t for the faint of heart – results don’t happen overnight. Investing in a successful PR program can reap the rewards 10-fold but you have to be willing to put in the legwork to build thought leadership, tailor messaging to fit your brand, and really dive into where your audiences look for information.
Aside from a sudden crisis management need – which is a very real reason to consider PR support – longer-term partnerships can provide the best results. A strategic PR campaign takes time but isn’t designed to turn around a failing product or land you on the cover of a magazine overnight. For most PR programs you can expect earned media results within one or two months, so it pays to plan accordingly.
You have a relevant story.
Every industry has its time in the limelight. If you feel like you have something meaningful to add to the conversation happening around yours, now could be the time to consider bringing on a PR partner to share that opinion with the world (or at least your target audiences!).
The PR agency team can and should help its client develop, shape, and communicate their story. But they need the raw material to start with, so if you have the raw materials ready to go, don’t wait!
So, maybe all of that resonated with you? If so, now is probably a good time to get started with PR! And if you think you will have these things in the months ahead, start the planning now. Finding the right PR partner is just as important as making sure your internal ducks are in a row, so give yourself the time to shop around and find the agency that can best support your business needs.