Determining whether to hire a PR agency starts with asking the right questions.

Checklist: 10 Questions to Determine if the Timing Is Right to Hire A PR Agency

Like so many companies, you want to promote your company brand and unique value proposition far and wide. But convincing others to pull the trigger on hiring a PR agency is proving to take more time than you anticipated. Or, perhaps you’re the one who isn’t sold—yet—on bringing in agency expertise. It’s a big decision, no doubt—in some ways, as important as choosing a spouse! But there’s also one surefire way to assess if you should hire an agency: Is the timing right?

With 25 years of experience in PR, including owning the fastest-growing agency in healthcare technology, I can help you sort it out. The first step is to determine what your goals are. Why do you want to be front and center in the news? Reasons can vary—some of our clients want to stand out clearly from the competition; others want to gain a share of voice on industry trends, and still others want to position their company for a strategic acquisition or IPO.

Once you’ve identified why you want to effectively and consistently promote your company, products, services and thought leaders, then you can move on to 10 key questions to help you make a decision about hiring a PR agency now or in the future. The questions fall under five categories—and your answers will give you an honest assessment about whether or not you need a PR agency at your side.

STRATEGY:

#1–Do you have a precise understanding of your target audiences and which media outlets they are mostly likely to engage with? Are you reaching them now or do you need to?

#2–In the event of an unexpected challenge from a competitor/member of the media/credible industry insider, do you have sufficient resources readily available for a rapid response?

#3—In the event of a crisis, do you have the right PR resources in place to quickly gain control of the public dialogue?

MEDIA RELATIONS:

#4–Are you successfully cultivating and maintaining media relationships with key influencers in your space? Are you sending them interesting pitches based on their beats to secure ink for you and your clients?

#5—Are you reaching out to the right media outlets? Every day I hear from prospects that they want to be in the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal but are those the outlets your buyers are reading…like the niche pubs in your own office lobby, or the ones they hand out at targeted key trade shows?

CONTENT MARKETING:

#6–Are you creating and distributing enough information to educate today’s information-driven buyers at every step of the buying process? Establishing your educational/thought leadership position through each phase is often critical when it comes time to making purchasing decisions.

#7—Are you getting your thought leaders’ messages out to your targeted markets and media outlets?

SOCIAL MEDIA:

#8—Do you have an effective social media strategy in place that is getting you noticed and talked about by industry/digital influencers?

ANALYST RELATIONS:

#9–Are you getting cited in the most widely read industry reports where your competitors are?

INDUSTRY RECOGNITION:

#10–Do we receive the recognition we deserve through different awards, speaking opportunities and trade show presentations?

Now, time to assess the results. If your answers have left you feeling somewhat alarmed about your own company’s “PR readiness,” don’t worry—help is just a free consultation away. And now that you know where you’re particularly vulnerable, you can have this consultation tailored to your most pressing needs. We’re here to help you make an informed decision!

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