By using someone local it makes meetings and discussions so much easier. Despite it being a busy city, getting from one end to the other via tube is relatively quick and certainly quicker than visiting an agency that is outside the M25. It is always good to visit the firm being considered, certainly before you make your choice and sign the deal. A good reason for such a meeting is to ensure that the company is based in the UK. Many companies pay for a virtual office. Whether they are based in Scotland, Wales or India, they have a website that is a .co.uk, a city coded telephone number and a local post code. Having a city address for many companies is a prestigious thing that can be misleading for businesses wanting to work with someone local. Another good reason for meeting is to find out what they are like. Talk to the team face to face, meet your main point of contact and most importantly, to determine their knowledge of your industry.
In view of the diversity of companies, something that is essential is that they have knowledge and understanding of your industry. This is partly down to the fact that they will then already have media contact in place for the various target publications for your media articles. But also the time it will take them to get you the results you require. It makes good sense to work with a company that knows your industry, and it will add benefit to the media campaign.
There is a belief that PR agencies in London are the most expensive in the UK due to their location. This is not necessarily true. They may have to pay more to rent office space; but some of the smaller firms are very competitive when compared with firms outside London. It is always wise to shop around and compare quotes from PR agencies as PR prices vary a lot. Indeed being based locally may be important, as is their experience of your market, but price must always play a critical factor in whether they are right for you or not. Rather than going through websites on google, just fill in the form to get quotes.