With the Internet at our disposal it can be easy to get lazy when looking for answers, should I start watching this film? Find the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. Is that hotel worth the price tag? Check Trip Advisor.
Everyone looks for answers online, but if you are a business looking for a new service, the results can be overwhelming. If you type ‘London PR firm’ into Google you will get 48,200,000 results. Going in blind, companies would be forgiven for selecting the top search result or the giant PR company they may have heard of. While these ‘big dog’ PR agencies may be right for some, their pricey monthly retainers and huge teams are excessive for most. A bigger PR company, at a bigger cost, does not always mean bigger results
A personal touch
Hiring a small PR consultancy can deliver more exposure and get better value. At XL Communications we may struggle to pull together enough people for a football team, but we still deliver excellent results. I have had coverage in tier one publications across online, print and broadcast media – without a team of fifteen helping me get there.
Smaller PR companies are often comprised of a close-knit group of individuals focused wholly on meeting their client’s PR objectives. Working so closely with my clients enables me to build a real rapport and understand exactly what they want – even when they cannot quite explain it themselves.
I’m lucky to have built genuine friendships with my clients, enjoying our regular catch ups and wanting to pick up the phone and give them a call. This makes answering your mobile on holiday or in the middle of the night (if clients are travelling) that much easier!
Know your team
Many larger PR firms try to replicate a small firm approach in sales pitches. Companies will send their senior managers and executives to meet potential clients so you think senior people will be involved in your account day-to-day. The reality is, once you have hired a PR agency with plenty of personnel, junior staff members will be handed the bulk of the work and you would be none the wiser. When we pitch for new business – the team you meet will be the team doing the work.
The most important thing for a business is to be able to work effectively with its PR company to achieve the best results. This should be the deciding factor when selected any agency or consultancy you want to bring real business benefit – not the number of notable clients listed on a firm’s website, or the number of employees it has on LinkedIn. Take the time to shop around for the PR firm that can be your partner – consulting on what you should or should not do, driving campaign ideas and being a person to bounce ideas off.