Contributors: Amy Vitale and Donyelle Lucero
Choosing the right public relations and advertising agency is vital for the success of your business. You want to ensure that your company is in the right hands to increase brand identity, outreach and growth, but how can you know before signing on the dotted line? Here are some questions to keep in mind to find the best agency for your business:
Does Your Agency Have Positive Reviews?
Checking an agency’s online reviews seems like a no-brainer, right? We thought we would mention it anyway, because not all reviews are created equal. Agencies may showcase positive testimonials on their websites, but do some more research. Public relations and ad agencies specialize in reputation management for their clients: see if they have taken the time to respond to their own bad reviews and how they handle them.
Is the Team a Cultural Fit for Your Company?
While it may not be the first factor people think about when selecting an ad agency, culture should be near the top. If you have been in business for a while, you have probably had to pass on a client whose values did not align with your business. This should hold true for the agency that handles your brand. Here are some questions to consider:
- What are their core values, and do they fit with yours?
- Which organizations (i.e. charities, nonprofits, etc.) are they affiliated with?
- What goals are they trying to achieve?
- How does the agency treat their team members?
- How do they handle pressure and tight deadlines?
Now that New Mexico is safely opening up, see if you can tour their office space before making a final decision. This will give you the chance to get an inside look on how they operate and to meet the key players who will be working with you regularly.
Can Your PR Agency Build a Comprehensive Strategy AND Execute it?
Whatever you hope to achieve through public relations and advertising, make sure that your prospective agency will not only be able to deliver, but understands your goals from day one. Whether you will be active on the campaign or letting the agency lead on all fronts, a tailored strategy should be in place for reference that works towards your company’s goals. In addition, how will they be held accountable? Never hesitate to ask for data and analytics reports.
Does Your Account Manager Communicate Well?
Regardless of the size of the project, communication will be essential in producing positive results. If content needs to be changed last-minute or a crisis arises, can you rely on that team to respond and take proper action? Determine what kind of relationship you want to have with your agency and if you feel that your first impression may be an inaccurate representation, reach out to some of their former clients. Just like any job interview, references can be key to helping you make the right decision.
Is an Agency’s Past Helpful for Your Future?
To see what this agency can do, look at examples of their past campaigns and brandwork. Ad agencies will oftentimes post client work on their websites and/or present a portfolio. Furthermore, find out which industries they specialize in. Your business should be in one of them or at least related to one. Did their previous work in that field align with your needs and expectations?
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of areas to take into account when finding the right agency, hopefully these tips will guide you through the agency selection process.