Choosing a Public Relations Firm can be a tough decision. Their minimum engagements usually start at about 3 months, and results are difficult to guarantee. A PR firm might seem like a big spend, and it quite possibly can be if you choose the wrong one. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Below are a few key points to keep in mind.
First, always start by defining your own goals within your team. This will give you a solid start from which a good PR firm can work. If you and your PR firm start out with mismatched goals, your happiness will be difficult to achieve. In some cases, you might find that you would be better going at it alone (hint: inexpensive, but more work and more trial and error). Or maybe letting them do ALL the work (hint: they won’t be able to successfully). Or maybe a combination of both (likely, expensive but can be worth it). Unfortunately, every situation is different. Only you can decide based on your goals, workload, and available personnel. Know what you think your success metrics are going to be before you start.
Once you have plotted your own goals, you can begin meeting with PR firms. But which ones? Check their previous clients. Have they successfully placed coverage for clients or competitors in your industry? Have they worked with crowdfunding clients before? If you are going to be paying a substantial price, you’ll want a firm that knows the lay of the land. The longer they’ve been doing it, the more value they will bring in the form of contacts or seasoned personnel.
Look for a PR team that wants to work with you, not for you or at you to simply meet the terms of your contract. They should talk about how they believe in you, your people, and your product; not just how they just believe in themselves to deliver. If they only talk about themselves in your first meeting, it could be a red flag. The best firms are “you” focused. On day one, you should also establish your main point of contact or who you’ll be working with. Pay attention to how this person treats you. If you don’t like this person, you’re likely not going to have an amazing relationship with the firm as a whole.
Possibly the two biggest questions you’ll need an answer are: “What they are offering?” and “How much?” What’s the total package look like? You should be able to calculate how many backers you will need in order to make their firm worth it. If their price is the entirely of your goal, maybe do it yourself. That said, be wary of firms that seem much lower than anyone else. As with anything, if they seem too good to be true, it is very possible that they are. You might just be throwing your money into a black hole.
While we’re on the subject of money, 100% make sure everyone is aware of the top line budget. In the event that they have additional budgetary need for a potentially high ROI effort, make sure there is a clear process for authorization, so you’re not stuck with a bill that you didn’t ask for. This kind of mismatch is uncomfortable for everyone. You don’t want to pay for services you didn’t ask for, but the firm doesn’t want to not get paid for work it completed. This is an easily avoidable situation, so make sure that you do avoid it.
Public Relations Firms can be an extremely important part of your crowdfunding campaign. They might be the difference between a successful campaign and one that lands with a thud. If you would like to work with some of the best PR personnel in the crowdfunding scene, get into contact with Rainfactory today.