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Do You Need a PR Agency?

This is a key decision that most small businesses have to take at some point, usually just before launching or just afterwards. A good PR agency does cost money so ideally you’d want to save on costs and keep your PR activities. However, in practice this isn’t always the best decision.

Here are the factors to take into account when considering whether to hire a PR agency.

One way of deciding is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you afford a PR agency?
  • Do you have the time to have an in-house PR strategy?
  • Do you feel confident writing and distributing press releases?
  • Is your company getting the press coverage that it deserves?
  • Are you satisfied with occasional media exposure or is it central to your marketing strategy?
  • Do you have quality media contacts?
  • Are your competitors receiving more press coverage than you?
  • Will a PR agency be an asset?

Good PR agencies write press releases, distribute them to targeted media outlets, make follow-up calls, and often have established good relationships with many journalists.

Therefore, with cost not being an issue, almost every small to medium sized company would hire the services of a PR agency. However, PR agencies can be expensive so the question is whether that money could be better spent elsewhere.

If gaining media exposure is central to the success of your company then you may be better off recruiting the services of a PR agency. New innovative companies often take this line. As Joe Nicassio says below, a successful public relations strategy is not one that results in exposure in a couple of national newspapers. To be truly effective consistency is required – public relations should be an ongoing process, week after week.

“Public Relations is a craft that requires passion. You may need PR, and you may even have the people to conduct your public relations, marketing, advertising campaigns but that’s not enough. To be truly effective, your PR campaigns must be conducted with passionate consistency,” says Joe Nicassio, author of Guerrilla PR Brand Manager

Always assess what your competitors are doing. If they are receiving a significant amount of press coverage and you aren’t then why not? Once one company becomes established in the minds of journalists when writing about certain issues it often requires a PR agency to become involved to change this.

Finally, gaining media coverage is not the solution to seeing your sales explode. It still follows the marketing law of targeting – exposure in a newspaper that your typical customer doesn’t read won’t have much effect. Therefore if you have a niche product your money may be better spent on a targeted marketing promotion rather than hiring a PR agency.

Related Articles:

The Cost of PR Activities and Hiring a PR Agency
Public Relations Ideas
The Layout of Press Releases
Writing Press Releases