Finding the perfect PR agency for you or your brand can sometimes feel like trying to find a soulmate on a dating app.
You are looking for something long-term, not something that will fizzle out after Valentine's Day.
Sometimes, you have PR agencies going full Meredith Grey, giving you the "Pick me. Choose me. Love me." speech.
When you finally find someone you want to meet in person, you spend hours or even days obsessing over what you are going to say and what questions you are going to ask.
Is it going to be a love connection, or will it just be okay?
It is all so overwhelming.
Let us help! We might not be the PR cupid, but we have some tips that will give you a better chance at a love connection.
So, stop swiping, because media update's Alrika Möller is ready to play PR matchmaker!
Goals and objectives
It is generally a good idea to take the time and decide what it is you want out of a relationship and where you want the relationship to go. It is best to do this before you download a dating app.
The same goes for finding a PR agency
. Before you start your big search
, you have to make sure you are clear on what you want
from that PR agency.
If you are a new brand that is looking to create brand awareness and build a reputation from scratch, some PR agencies will be better suited than others.
When you know what you want to achieve, you can also steer the conversation with prospective agencies in that direction to determine if they understand your goals and if they can meet them.
When you know what you want out of a relationship, it will also help to make sure you and your prospective partner are on the same page.
They might be picturing a wedding happening next month while you are hoping to take things slow over many, many years.
So, discuss your goals and objectives with the agencies you are considering to make sure your calendars align.
Okay, so let's say you find someone on a dating app. You both swipe right. They seem nice, so you decide to get together. This is when you start looking for red flags, like a child on an Easter egg hunt.
One obvious red flag is when the person has no other relationships in their life. I am not talking about romantic relationships; I am talking about family and friends. How are you two supposed to have a social life? Who will you hang out with? With PR agencies, it is the same — but different.
When you meet them, you spend half of the meeting looking for red flags and green flags.
A major green flag
is if they have a roster
of media contacts and relationships
at their disposal. PR is very much rooted in the media
and how the media portrays or talks about your brand.
You will need those contacts for media coverage when big moments happen, as well as damage control on the not-so-good days.
Look for other relationships that will add to your partnerships in PR and romance.
Location, location, location
In real estate, as in life, it is all about location.
Long-distance relationships can work, but they are not ideal — especially if you want someone you can go on dates with and share the small moments in life with.
When a possible partner is far away, the relationship will be based on big moments and the possibility that you might see each other every few weeks.
That is why the location filter exists on dating apps.
When you are looking for a PR agency, you might want to add a location filter as well. You want a PR agency that is based in the same place you are.
That will make meetings so much easier, and they will be able to jump in quite quickly whenever something pops up unexpectedly.
If your PR agency is far away, then planning things like launches will be a lot more complicated than it should be.
Going further, you need to look at where you operate. If your brand has multiple locations or operates in different cities and countries, you will need a PR agency that can access all the places you reach.
Seeing your PR agency or your SO (that means a significant other for anyone not in GenZ) for a quick chat should not always include air travel.
It is no secret that most people do a social media deep dive and Instagram stalking session whenever they start seeing someone new.
You want to know about every past relationship that person has ever had and how or why it ended.
No detail is too small. You have to know everything! Did they cheat or get cheated on? Are they still obsessed with their ex?
I am not telling you to stalk PR professionals
on Instagram — I am telling you to ask about other clients
You want to take a look at the type of situations the PR had to handle for other clients and if they were able to deal with it.
If you are a smaller brand and they have a mountain of massive clients, there is a chance that you might draw the short straw and get less attention from the agency.
If their other clients are competitors, things can get awkward. You obviously want to ask the PR agency about other clients, but it helps to do your own research and find the press mishaps and crises in their past as well.
Like I said, no detail is too small when you run your background checks.
Are you vibing?
One thing I have learned during the dating process is that vibes are crucial.
If you get a weird vibe, you have to get out! If you and your date are vibing from the start and there is a whole textbook full of chemistry, then you have found something good.
Now, you might think that choosing a PR agency is too big of a deal to base it on vibes. But if you and the agency have real chemistry, you know it will be a positive working relationship, and they will be happy to go the extra mile for you.
You don't just want the best agency out there, you also want people you get along with — especially if you are hoping to work together for a long time.
It is also true that every brand has its own culture and image. You want a PR agency that gets your aesthetic and will compliment it nicely. The vibes need to be there, or you will get the ick when you have already committed.
Finding the right PR agency can be stressful! But if you know what to look for, finding a PR professional will be a lot easier than finding your soulmate on any app.
It doesn't matter if you are hoping to hire a PR agency or a PR professional trying to land a client; we want to help. Let us know your biggest problems and questions in the comment section below.
There are so many PR terms and strategies that it can be difficult to keep track of them all. If you want to expand your PR knowledge, you should check out What is a dark launch — in 200 words or less.