BLOG: Part #2 – Ten Things You Need to Know When Hiring a PR Firm Part Two

Click here for Part One, #1-5 Ten Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a PR Firm

The best public relations practitioners are always learning, always soaking up new information, skills and expertise. Increasingly, thriving PR professional focus their energies in three areas:
• omni-channel storytelling,
• integrated marketing communications, and
• social media.

6. The Strategic Importance of Omni-Channel Communications

Brands today succeed by cross-marketing in multiple verticals, telling a story in one voice. This is strategic omni-channel communication. Can your PR team communicate with media in a range of sectors — for example, technology, banking, and mommy bloggers — providing interesting angle for each that still resonate with your overall key messages and brand narrative? Or, is your PR team so specialized they are most effective limited to communications in a niche market? Niche market sector expertise has value, don’t get me wrong. But, if your aim is to grow your business, you’ll find the most effective PR is developing an Omni-channel communications plan, and you need resources versed in helping you do so.

7. Integrated Marketing Communication is Essential

The old buzz phrase “integrated communications” still applies, perhaps with more force than ever, as communications channels are so various and complex. You need your external communications efforts (from PR, social media, brand voice, content creation, website, sales team, event marketing, and even to investor relations) to enhance and reinforce each other. The better integrated are your communications elements, the greater the likelihood of elevating your messages above the noise.

8. Social Media Skills; a New Era in Public Engagement

The pervasive presence of social media — such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter – should drive every PR pro to learn the skills necessary to think in words as well as images, listen attentively, and respond rapidly and appropriately beyond just media relations.
Social channels engage directly with customers, investors, influencers and competitors. Honing social media skills is mission-critical for today’s competitive PR programs. You need a PR resource that understands this and is well verse in social media.

Beyond these fundamentals, what are the intangibles that will help you select the right Public Relations partner for your company’s success?

9. Don’t Underestimate the Sparks of Personal Chemistry

Yes, we’re talking about that great old question: ‘Are we a good fit?’ To get the best results, people need to complement each other’s skills and be on the same page, so they can work effectively, efficiently and cooperatively together. This does not mean you all need to think alike. Sometimes, differing approaches and perspectives can actually provide your PR with a well expanded reach. After all, your customers and constituents don’t all think alike. What is key, however, is commitment to team work between your company and your PR team. This includes trust, likability, cooperation and collaboration. Otherwise, move on!

10. Last AND Definitely Not Least, Measurement

What’s important to defining great PR results, is agreement upon how results will be measured, and what will you do with the measurement once evaluated. Do you want to count total articles placed, number of words published, or impressions reached? Or, are you more interested in quality media placements and influencer relations over quantity? There are many successful means to measure your Public Relations program. What is important is that it is measured, and that measurement be used to adjust and improve the PR efforts over time.
Make sure when you hire a PR resource that your philosophy on measuring success meets their capabilities to provide such a measure and to adjust the PR program accordingly, and you’ll be sure to have wings for a creative, eventful, successful partnership!

©2015 PR-Zone, Jody Privette Young. All rights reserved.