Building a successful partnership with your PR Agency
In today’s fast-paced and competitive media landscape, a strong and reliable public relations (PR) strategy is essential for any organisation seeking to enhance its reputation, engage with its target audience, drive enquiries and stand out from the crowd.
While many property companies have internal PR teams, partnering with a property specialist PR agency can bring a fresh perspective, industry insight and expertise, as well a valuable network and book of contacts to the table. However, to really maximise the benefits of working with a PR agency, it’s most important to establish a strong and collaborative partnership. In this blog, we will explore some key strategies to help you get the best out of your PR agency.
Clearly defined objectives:
Before appointing a PR agency, take the time to define your objectives clearly. What do you hope to achieve through PR? Do you actually know what PR is and how it differs to Marketing? Whether it’s building brand awareness in a competitive market space, increasing media coverage, managing a crisis situation, or driving property sales – there are all sorts of reasons that PR can assist. It’s an important question because having well-defined goals will keep everyone focused and enable your agency to create an effective PR strategy, with a good understanding of what you consider success to look like.
Choosing the right agency:
Partnering with the right PR agency is vital for your success. Look for an agency that has experience and a proven track record of securing coverage in the types of publication you want to appear in. Consider their expertise in media relations, social media, content creation, and crisis management. Take a good look at their website and read client testimonials to gain insights into their capabilities. Additionally, ensure that their company culture aligns with yours to foster a productive working relationship. Most importantly choose a team you like. To get the most out of your investment, you will have to spend a good amount of time with your agency and so it helps if you get on.
It’s good to talk:
It sounds obvious but effective communication is the backbone of a successful PR partnership. Set up regular meetings or calls with your agency to discuss initiatives, provide updates, and brainstorm new ideas. We are the PR experts and you are the expert of your company – it’s important that you share vital information for us to communicate important information.
Encourage open dialogue and ensure that your agency has a clear understanding of your brand, values, and messaging. Timely feedback and responsiveness will help both parties stay aligned, make sure that time is not wasted missing deadlines and make necessary adjustments to help achieve optimal results. No journalist will hang around and wait for information past their deadline.
Sharing is caring
To enable your PR agency to represent your brand effectively, share anecdotes, stories and company insight as often as possible. Information about your company, its people, products or services, target audience, and industry landscape is all relevant. Provide them with key messaging points, brand guidelines, and any market research or industry reports that can help inform their strategies. Facts and figures always add strength to your messaging. Basically, the more your PR agency knows about your company, the better they can tailor their efforts to meet your objectives.
A stick approach with your agency may feel like you are working them hard and getting value for money, but the reality is that they might become disheartened and feel less likely to go above and beyond for you. Of course, if they are neither performing nor meeting expectations, this must be directly communicated.
View your PR agency as an extension of your internal team, fostering a collaborative environment. Encourage them to work closely with your marketing, social media, and executive teams to ensure a seamless integration of PR efforts with other marketing initiatives. Involve your agency in strategic discussions where acceptable and seek their input. By involving them in decision-making processes, you can harness their insights and maximise the value they bring.
Most importantly, give your agency direct and honest feedback. If you don’t like something – you should say or you will start to feel frustrated and the relationship will break down. PR can be subjective at times but any credible agency worth their salt will aim to please their clients – and will likely move mountains to impress and achieve an outcome that everyone is happy with.
As any PR professional knows, KPI’s are always tricky in PR. We are not placing adverts and therefore we are often left in the hands of overworked and underpaid journalists – who themselves are at the mercy of a stressed-out editor. Stories can be pulled at the last minute and there’s no one we can blame. Ultimately there are no guarantees in PR but with the right ingredients, we can make sure the story is strong enough and ensure that we stand a good chance of success.
Establish early on what you believe success looks like. It might be national coverage, or it might be a mention in the local parish newsletter. Both have very different values and reach – but both serve a purpose.
If it helps appease a sales driven mindset, establish key performance indicators (KPIs) together with your agency to track the success of your PR campaign. Whether it’s media mentions, social media engagement, website traffic, reach or lead generation, define measurable goals and regularly evaluate progress.
Remember that PR is not a direct or immediate sales tool and one article featured in the press is not always going to lead to the phone ringing off the hook. Building a reputation takes time and as long as you are leaving a positive media footprint behind you, you are succeeding.
Analyse your coverage and PR outputs regularly, provide feedback, and discuss any necessary adjustments with your agency. This collaborative evaluation process ensures that your PR efforts – and their time – stay on track and deliver the desired outcomes.
Appreciate and celebrate success:
All PR pro’s all been there – a front page story in a national property title – possibly the best bit of coverage you’ve ever had. Great personal excitement and celebration throughout the office… and then silence from the client. Did they even get the email?
It’s a small thing but it means a lot. Acknowledge and celebrate successes with your PR agency. Securing coverage takes persistence, skill and a lot of hard work, so recognise their efforts, whether it’s placing a significant story, handling a crisis with professionalism, or generating a social buzz. Celebrating achievements fosters a positive working relationship and motivates the agency to continue delivering exceptional results.
Working with a PR agency can be a game-changer for your organisation’s brand, reputation and growth. By clearly defining your objectives, choosing the right agency, fostering open communication, sharing insights, collaborating closely, measuring results, and celebrating success, you can create a strong partnership that brings in amazing results.
If you would like to have a quick chat and find out if we are the right kind of PR agency for you, send us an email on email@example.com