So you are looking to hire a PR agency to work with your brand? You want to get your product or service in top tier media and take your brand to the next level? Seems simple enough right? Nah. Here are the SIX things you need to have in order before you approach a PR agency.

 1.Have A Clear Brand Identity

Who are you? What is your mission statement? What are your brand colors? Why are you in this business? What makes you unique? Who are your competitors? Make your PR agency’s job easier by providing them with as much information as possible so they have something to work with and can better understand the brand.

2.Know Your Target Audience, Well

 After solidifying your brand identity, make sure you know your target audience. Do not try and appeal to everyone, thinking that you will build more of a following. Having a very clear idea of who you want to reach and why, will help your PR team develop strategies and creative campaigns that will appeal to your targeted audience and yield real results.

3. Invest In An Attractive, Social- Media & Mobile Friendly Website

Your website is the first place potential consumers go to see your brand. It is extremely important that you clearly and effectively communicate your brand story. There should be clear, great quality photos, an about us page, ways to contact you, social media links, a clear email sign up page and information for media inquiries. It should also looks seamless on mobile devices.

4. Have Your Headshots Together

 Pictures are worth a thousand words right?  Make sure you have professional headshots of yourself and your entire team in multiple poses( one more business casual and some more fun shots for variety). Providing media with quality photos is so important once your PR agency begins to pitch your brand.

5. An Active Social Media Presence

 Once potential consumers check to make sure you have an up to date website, they go straight to your social media pages. When was your last post? Is it relevant to your brand identity? Does it all look uniform? Are you using your brand’s fonts and colors? Be sure to have consistency and quality posts that make sense for your brand. If social media isn’t your strong suit or you don’t have time to manage it, that is a service that you scan outsource to your PR agency.

6. Have Realistic  Expectations

When working with a PR agency, you have to understand that public relations is a process and it is filled with rejection. (Refer to this blog post for tips on how to have the “rejection talk” with clients) A campaign can take anywhere from three to six months to see results from so patience and trust in your agency is crucial. Having realistic expectations also means that you do not ask to be in Vogue if you have not put in the work to deserve that placement. ( Yes, I know that there are people who have been in Vogue who don’t deserve to be there) Publicists are not miracle workers. We only can work as hard for you as you work for your brand. We are a team and understanding that will make the working relationship a lot smoother.

6. Have A Budget

 I saved the most important thing for last. Have a budget to invest in a publicist. Know how much you are willing to spend a month and be sure to add that to your monthly expenses. Publicists have to pay bills just like you do and are taking hours to pitch for you, plan campaigns, research and work to make sure you get a true return on your investment. Respecting their time with appropriate compensation is the very first step in building strong working relationship. Exposure and building is NOT going to pay my bills and honestly it’s insulting that you don’t think my time and services are worth paying for.

So the next time you think to yourself “I should get a publicist” stop and think… “Am I ready for a publicist”