Before you hire a publicist, you really need to know what to ask them in order to make a good decision.
Sometimes, the person in charge of the hiring decision has little or no experience with public relations or marketing teams (which is normal, and hence they have a need to hire one).
We’ve compiled 8 basic questions your PR team should be happy to answer…
1. What goes under the umbrella of Public Relations?
PR has come to encompass anything public facing, which these days means that it encompasses almost every aspect of your business. Publicists are here to tell your story in and out of the press. They originally came into existence to promote their clients through editorial coverage in the press however that has now grown to so many other avenues and platforms.
Most people use a publicist when they have very specific marketing problems that are impeding customers from finding them, and when they need help with client-facing media such as social media management, events, marketing materials, consistent client outreach and promotional campaigns.
2. How effective is your agency?
You want your agency to be extremely effective.
Thanks to our tried and tested getting-to-know-you process and the fact that all of Black Ink PR’s staff are senior practitioners, our clients don’t feel the need to hire another agency to work on a different aspect of their campaign.
An effective agency will understand your core values and messaging, and will integrate those throughout your PR and marketing plan.
3. Will I have access to senior leadership?
This depends on the agency. At Black Ink we are all senior level practitioners, so you will always have access to senior level practitioners.
There is no catching up. Nobody is practicing with your money, nobody is learning. We are all highly experienced professionals, and that’s your ideal.
4. Why did you start the agency?
This is a great question to ask your publicist. When people ask me I tell them the truth; that I love communications. I’m a lifelong passionate, communicator, learner, educator and participator.
I love business and I love entrepreneurs, and I really wanted to put my stamp on an industry that I very much enjoy. Happily, I have been able to achieve all that and more at Black Ink.
5. How will you get to know our brand and our values?
The trick to that is by doing homework. Lots of it.
A good PR agency will not just be thinking about the paycheck but also your brand, your mission, your industry and most importantly – your audience. That should always reflect in the quality of the work.
6. We’re a small (or large) company, where do we fall within your client base?
Some agencies will have a threshold for the size of account they are willing to take on, and are able to support.
Transparency is very important at Black Ink PR so we never take on clients we can’t support.
You should always be treated as a priority and get the same efficient and effective service that anyone else in an agency’s client spectrum does.
7. What do you need from me?
This is very important as a lot of what a publicist does is often taken care of in the first two months. An agency has to get your brand assets in order to be thoroughly prepared for your PR and marketing plan.
This takes a while as many clients think they have their story ready but they don’t, or they think they have their press materials media ready but they’re not.
You need to be willing to give your time and commit to the process with an open mind. At Black Ink PR, we strive to never give clients homework (that’s our job) but we do need client input and often the largest amount of it at the start of the campaign.
8. Why do you want to work with us?
A good agency should only take you on if they’re passionate about the project. You can teach a lot of things but passion is not one of them, it’s either there or it’s not.
An agency should only work with clients they know they can help and offer great service to, and at Black Ink PR we only work with people who play nicely in the sandbox.
Come join us!