With hundreds of Public Relations companies (PR Agencies) operating across Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore, choosing the best is a difficult task for a startup. There are more than 100 odd PR agencies in Delhi-NCR itself. With the rise of Digital PR firms in India, the numbers have added-up to the total tally. It makes it extremely difficult for a startup to choose the best PR firm. Here are 5 steps to hire the best PR agency for your company.
Step 1. Prepare a PR brief – Every company is unique in its own way and therefore the PR strategy for each is different. Preparing a PR brief actually helps the senior management to list down their PR goals – i.e. what it wants to achieve from PR engagement. It must list down the expectations for PR engagement, competitors, Budget etc.
Step 2. Look for an Agency that suits your need – As mentioned above, there are hundreds of PR consultants in the market and it will not be practically possible to call even 20 of them for a pitch. The best way to deal with this problem is to create a solid PR brief and accordingly look for a suitable agency. For example, let us say you want to focus on brand positioning for your startup – you will probably find less than 5 agencies across India which will fit this criterion. Or for example, an Agency that has expertise in dealing with FinTech clients. Again, there will be less than 10 across India. This makes your life much easier.
Step 3. Before inviting for a pitch, send the PR brief to the agency: Unless you are looking for a template solution – one size fits all – it is better to send PR brief to the agencies you have selected and ask them to focus on it while pitching for your account. It is okay to ask an agency to keep the pitch direct and short.
Step 4. Be clear about your Budget – While you may love to pay peanuts to your PR consultant, remember that you only get monkeys for peanuts. Therefore, be a little liberal with your Budget since there are not enough good PR consultants available in the market. There are thousands of companies chasing few hundred PR consultants. Hence, if the fee is too low, chances of that money getting wasted is quite high since due to meagre margins your consultant would be focusing more on business development that on actual client servicing.
Step 5. Sign a formal contract – Your PR agency will be handling the image of your company. Being a startup, the last thing you would want is a bad perception about your product or services. Have detailed discussion on deliverables and put it on a paper or, better still, a formal contract. This will keep both the parties on same page and rule out any possible discrepancies.
Good luck to hiring a kickass agency 🙂