Whenever a company, an organization, or an individual begins the process of interviewing and eventually hiring a public relations firm to assist them in a communications campaign, the options can be overwhelming. So many agencies are available, specializing in such a wide variety of sectors, that the offering can often be confusing, misleading, and even sometimes far different than what was advertised.
We get it – we’ve worked with many first-time clients, who before they could make decisions on who to hire, they had to do some work on defining their objectives and understanding what was possible at their budget point. So we decided it would be helpful to come up with a list of some of the most important questions you should keep in mind when hiring a Washington DC PR firm. Please take a look, and let us know your thoughts.
What are my short-term, mid-term and long-term goals?
When hiring a DC PR firm, it’s important to have at least a general idea of what exactly you’re seeking to accomplish by hiring a DC PR firm. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to articulate, especially if you and your organization are in the market for a DC public relations firm for the first time. What’s the easiest way to answer this question? By asking yourself another question (trust us). Ask yourself, “Why am I shopping for a DC PR firm?”
How would a DC PR firm help me reach my goals in a way that I couldn’t on my own?
This kind of question is important to ask yourself before entering into any transaction, regardless of whether you’re considering a DC public relations firm! And in a way, this question seeks to find the same answer as “Why am I shopping for a DC PR firm?”
So an honest assessment of your organization’s own strategy for public-facing content is needed. When you identify a gap in your organization’s operations, make a note of it and use it to refine your search. Some examples include, social media campaign, content strategy, and media relations. For more information, check out our post titled “What’s the Value of PR?”
What are the services provided by this DC public relations firm?
Answering this question is guaranteed to refine and improve the criteria of your search for a DC PR firm. Not is it possible that you may learn of public relations and communications services that you previously hadn’t thought of, you may also discover PR services that you previously didn’t even know existed.
This will help you on your quest for finding the right DC PR firm by helping you match your needs to the services provided! In a way, answering this question will answer many of your other questions.
What experience does this DC PR firm have in my industry?
Public relations and strategic communications are trainable skills, but its experience that sets DC PR firms apart. This is an incredibly important question to ask when soliciting public relations and strategic communications in Washington, DC – where options are abundant.
The associates at Media Theory each possess a wealth of diverse experiences, rooted in international politics and global issues, and exhibiting a range of past work experiences.
What are some this DC PR firm’s clients?
The answer to this question may contextualize the answers to some previous questions, like “What services does this DC PR firm provide?” and “What experience does this DC PR firm have in my industry?”
By studying the DC PR agency’s client portfolio, any organization in the market for DC–based public relations and communications services may gain insight into whether or not the DC PR agency in question is equipped to handle the needs of your organization.
At Media Theory, our client portfolio speaks to our versatility. For more information, check out our Case Studies.
How does this DC PR firm communicate with its clients?
When hiring a strategic communications provider, it’s crucial that an organization hire an agency that communicates quickly, effectively and in a manner accordant with the organization’s needs.
A good firm should alleviate the stress of day-to-day operations, not add to it!
Who will be the lead on my account day to day?
Public relations and communications agencies will typically introduce potential clients to the firm’s principals or senior managers, and then spare no time in assigning the client’s account to lower-level associates.
Of course this kind of treatment from a DC public relations firm is less than ideal. That’s why we do things differently at Media Theory.
At our agency, each and every one of our accounts is handled collaboratively. We feel that many hands make light work and produce better results.
Does this agency have an expert network?
In this digital era, public relations and communications exist in an evolving climate. Knowing this, it’s important that your organization is familiar with the DC PR firm’s in-house and outsourced capacities.
In order to procure the absolute best available service to our clients, we at Media Theory frequently call upon our global expert network to launch media campaigns, design digital content, and connect clients to success.
How does this PR firm measure success?
The answer to this question is not only an important consideration before transacting the services of a DC PR agency, but can also be used as a tool to evaluate the value of PR for your organization.
Can I count on the service of this consultant to be a valuable addition to my organization?
Last but not least, this question will help you and your organization conclude whether to solicit the services of a DC PR firm.
It’s a difficult question to answer, but still an incredibly valuable consideration throughout your organization’s shopping and solicitation of public relations and communications services.
Use this question to guide each criterion your organization uses to evaluate the value of a DC PR firm.