But it is definitely not one size fits all. Not all PR consultants can help your business. Here’s six questions you could ask to help you make the right choice.
Do they understand your industry sector and business? Have they got similar, non-competing clients or relevant experience? If they do not, you can spend a lot of time and money teaching them the terminology and re-writing their press releases.
Do they understand how to reach your target audience? Business to business skills are generally quite different to those required for consumer campaigns. Commercial property, professional services, technology and finance usually also require specialist knowledge.
Have they been recommended? Your professional contacts and journalists who work on your target publications may be able to make recommendations. Once you narrow down your choice ask the short-listed PR consultants if you can speak to some current clients.
Can they demonstrate results? Do they have campaigns which have achieved results for a current, relevant client?
Do they tell you how they propose to work with you? One of the main reasons for using a PR consultant is that you are too busy to do it yourself. How is the consultant going to ensure they get the information they need from you? What do they expect from you? How will they evaluate their coverage and its effectiveness?
Will you get on with them? Make sure you know who you will be working with on a day-to-day basis and decide whether you can get on with them. Many client consultant relationships founder, not just in PR, because of relationship issues.
It is worth doing the research. Finding the right PR consultant can make a real bottom line difference to your business.