When any PR agency is approached with an enquiry, the question is asked ‘do they have a PR brief’?
A PR brief is a document that is put together by you (the client) putting together ideas and thoughts on the following points
Goals – What are the goals of the campaign?
Audience – Who are you targeting, remember you know more than the agency at this point.
Why Media – What do you wish to communicate to your (above) audience?
Cause & Effect – What do you want to see from the audience (more sales, enquiries etc.)?
Timing – How quick do you need to see results (be realistic)?
Dynamics – What are the internal and external drivers for change in your business? Industry Target – What industry sectors do you want to target?
Media Context – What other media are you using in addition to public relations?
Budget For Campaign – What finances and resources do you have available for the campaign?
Evaluation – What metrics will you use to measure the campaign and results?
All agencies need guidance, as opposed to ‘we need PR’, they need to have some sort of framework to put a campaign together for you.
It is not the job of the public relations agency to put together the above points, it is down to you; but of course, they need to ask the questions above in order to get the answers they need to work with.
These are a few things to avoid when talking to any PR companies about your campaign:
Do not be vague – Give the media company as much information as possible to work with
Do not waste time – Be realistic, don’t waste their time or yours on unrealistic ambition
Don’t decide on price – Prices do vary, quality in public relations is not about price.
Go for skills – There are thousands of agencies, choose someone that knows your industry. Are they linked to the CIPR?
Most public relations agencies will sit you down and run through the above points, but if you can go to them with an outline of what you are looking for, the funds to pay for it, and realistic goals, then the campaign is half way there to being a success.