For any business which is looking to use a PR firm it is absolutely vital that you find one which really fits in well with who you are as a business and what you are trying to achieve. Last year my fintech startup was on the lookout for a PR firm and we must have sat through at least 10 meetings before deciding on Interdependence PR, which turned out to be one of the best decisions which we’ve made to date. There were so many reasons why we picked Interdependence PR over the others, and given that the move turned out to be a smart one I wanted to offer you some tips on what you should be looking out for when you sit and have a meeting with a potential PR firm.
Simply because this is a B2B dealing does not mean that you should be offered anything but the very best in customer service. You would be amazed at the number of PR firms who simply believe that this is below them, or that it is not a high priority. The truth is that you should expect to be treated like a valued customer and that should begin from your very first meeting.
If you have organized this meeting sometime in advance then you should expect to walk in to a team which is prepared and which has done its homework on your business. This is what set Interdependence PR apart from the rest when we met up with them, that the first time we met they were ready with so many ideas for how they could take our business to the next level, and what exactly they planned to do in order to help us reach our goals. Whilst you don’t have to anticipate a team which is as ready as they were, it is still vital that they understand who you are and what you are about. Failure to do this will lose time after the contract is signed, and it also indicates just how much they do or don’t want your business, as well as showing you what kind of team you will be working with.
You will find that many PR firms who you speak with will be full of swagger and promises as to what they can achieve for your business, after all this is what you will be paying them for, but very often you can see right through the act. What you should be looking for here is transparency, you need to understand how they will do what they say that they can, and that includes the details. Don’t allow the firm to throw general terminology at you without any real information to back it up. This is not to say that they must present this before you, but if you ask then they should be prepared with all of the answers.
These are just a few things to keep an eye on from my own experience.