Common Questions Startups Ask PR Agencies
If your startup’s New Year’s resolutions included hiring a PR agency, we’re here to help your quest for information. Check out the answers below for some of the common questions we hear from startups hiring a public relations agency for the first time.
What is the purpose of a PR agency?
A PR agency helps you achieve your business goals by:
- Creating a strategic plan for obtaining media coverage
- Managing your startup’s reputation
- Connecting you with industry influencers
- Positioning you as a thought leader
- Saving you time, allowing you to concentrate on core business functions
- Holding you accountable to your goals
How do I know if I need one?
Do you want a trusted partner to create a plan for your success? Do you want to increase awareness and sales? Are you launching a new product? Are you spending so much time focused on the technical aspects your business that publicity is always on the back burner? If you answered yes to any of these questions, a PR agency may be a great solution for you. If you’re in the early stages of fund raising, an in-house PR person may be a better fit.
How much should I be paying for public relations?
First, speak to your CEO/CFO about your overall budget to decide what you can afford to spend on PR. If you have a short-term goal such as launching a product, it may cost less than hiring an agency on a retainer for 6 months or one year. Some well-funded startups find value in having an agency handle the company’s launch, allowing the startup to focus on building its team and product.
Do I need an internal person at my company to manage it?
Both your company and the agency would benefit from a key point of contact to keep communication organized. The agency will also need input from the key decision makers and future spokespeople of the company.
Does it matter where the agency is located?
Many startups create products and services online for people all over the world, so the agency’s location doesn’t matter as much as the agency’s relationships and expertise in specific industries. If your customers are all in one location, an agency with local contacts could be the best choice.
What services does an agency provide?
Different agencies provide different services, including:
- Using their existing relationships with reporters in your industry, to earn media coverage for your business.
- Coaching your team for interviews, referred to as media training.
- Internal communications, which is very important for startups scaling at a high rate. Make sure all your new employees know the company’s mission and goals.
- Influencer research and outreach for partnerships.
- Event and conference research and outreach for speaking opportunities.
- Crisis management, should the worst occur.
- Content creation and strategy for blogs and articles.
- Crafting the core messaging of your business, such as the mission and website text.
- SEO, paid media, social media, inbound marketing, branding and other visual communication advice are sometimes offered.
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