12: Hiring Outside PR

As clients, it's always better to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. You will get better service if your agency truly values your business. Jessica's favorite question as a client was always: "What is the average range of client budget at the agency?" It's not smart to be the agency's smallest account, but if you are in the middle, you can command good service. Also, don't be shy—it's good to talk budget in the initial conversation. That way you can figure out if you company is a good fit from a budget perspective.

Hiring Outside PR

We’ve already compared launches to births, so we can extend the metaphor a little further. Hiring a PR firm is like the start of a relationship. There’s the dating period, the honeymoon, and then the contractual commitment of marriage.

Like spouses, people either love or hate their PR firm. So how can you ensure a match made in heaven?

First, decide if you want a consultant or an agency. Agencies have the ability to pull from a larger staffing talent pool, deploy more energy towards your campaign, and carry a broader range of expertise. Often, full-servlce agencies can become a one-stop-shop able to address other needs that may arise beyond launch, like
crisis communications, video/filming, design production, and social media management. On the downside, agencies are usually more expensive, may be juggling your business with a dozen others, and depending on your budget, unable to give you priority attention. Additionally, while you may initiate your relationship with agency heads, ultimately your business will be serviced by whoever is underneath the account principals.