Five signs it’s time to fire your PR agency

January 4, 2014

Your PR agency should support your business goals, whether those goals are to increase visibility, boost sales or attract investors. Measuring against set business goals is one way to evaluate your relationship with your PR agency. But like any other relationship, there are subjective factors that weigh in, too: trust, honesty, creativity, dedication, respect and more. If you think it might be time to break up with your agency, ask yourself these five questions.

  1. Does your public relations agency treat your business as though it were its own? A PR firm’s success is entwined in the success of its clients, so your agency should be committed to your business and to doing whatever it can to help you meet your strategic goals. That means more than just netting coverage for the sake of coverage. If your press hits don’t increase sales within a certain demographic, for example, or build awareness with the new audience you’re targeting, then what is the value?
  2. Does your agency make you feel like you’re its only client on a day-to-day basis? Does your PR agency use your time judiciously, make strategic recommendations, serve as a sounding board for new approaches and come up with creative ideas on a regular basis? Does your agency make you shine within your own organization?  It would be unrealistic to believe that a PR agency has only your company as its sole client. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel your agency’s dedication to your business. Your agency should make you feel as though your company is a priority, not an afterthought or a client of lesser importance.
  3. Does your agency anticipate the next step? A PR agency shouldn’t have to rely on you to come up with its next plan of attack. Your firm should be creative and proactive about coming up with PR strategies to help your company meet its business goals. Your agency should not just be the team that does what you tell them to do, but the team that tells you what they will do, what they need from you and what value they can bring to your organization as a whole.
  4. Does your agency own up to its mistakes? You should be able to trust your PR agency to be honest with you, even when it comes to making mistakes. Your team should own up to its mistakes and work with you to come up with ways to correct difficult situations. 
  5. Does your agency understand and share your values? As an extension of your team, your agency should have similar core business values as your company. Whether collaboration, agility, innovation, integrity or another value is most important to your organization, you should also find these values reflected in your agency.

If your agency doesn’t do these five things, you may want to reevaluate your relationship.
How do you evaluate your PR agency? Let us know in the comments.
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