What Should I Look for When I'm Hiring a PR Firm?


I often encounter potential clients who have been burned by a prior PR
firm and are hesitant to risk trying PR again. This unfortunate
experience can hopefully be prevented by asking these important
questions when you are researching and hiring the right PR firm for

1. What is their primary focus? Do they represent complimentary brands
in your target market? It's important to align yourself with a PR firm
that represents brands that fit into your niche. For example, I
represent children's brands- fashion and lifestyle, with the goal of
creating a one-stop shop for editors looking for products in those
areas. It's important to find a PR firm that has a primary focus and
expertise in your area.

2. What is their track record? Ask to speak with current clients and
see what their experience has been working with them. Check out their
clients' press pages to see what their results are and if they have
been placed in your targeted media. Also, if you admire a certain
brand and consistently see them in your desired media, do a quick
Google search to see who handles their PR.

3. Do they "get" social media? If your potential PR firm claims to be
an expert in social media but their Facebook page hasn't been updated
in several months or their Twitter only has "spammy" tweets, it's time
to reconsider. Look for companies that engage their followers and
offer interesting, relevant content.

4. Do they guarantee coverage? Many PR firms will promise outstanding
results or even "guarantee" coverage, which is a red flag. There is
unfortunately no guarantee in PR coverage, and while a PR person could
give you an idea of what type of response you may receive based on
their past experiences, they can't force an editor to cover their

5. Are they creative? It's important to present creative pitches and
craft an interesting story to share with editors. Your PR person
should have fresh ideas for innovative promotions and ways to engage
your audience.