BLOG: Five things to consider when selecting your PR agency, by Catalyst PR’s MD Johnny Paterson

johnny main

Welcome to part two of my three-part mini PR masterclass.

Following on from last week’s definition of 21st century PR, today I’m revealing the five key factors you should consider when you are choosing your PR Agency.

Here at Catalyst, we have a team with backgrounds from agencies and client companies – so we are pretty well equipped to give you some good, solid, and valuable advice!

  • To maximise the effect of PR, we know that all marketing disciplines must be brought together to the benefit of clients; here at Catalyst, we call it ‘Joined Up Marketing’. PR does not exist in a vacuum, so make sure the agencies you choose to look at have a real understanding of these links and can maximise them to benefit your entire operation – sales as well!
  • These days, traditional PR agencies are becoming as rare as hen’s teeth! More and more they are offering, over and above expert trade and consumer PR, full marketing services, graphic and website design, SEO, apps, video production, photographic services, and exhibition and event management. Why? By keeping all these services under one roof, the client message is not diluted, misinterpreted or compromised by several different companies trying (and sometimes failing) to sing from the same song sheet. Also, a client will invariably get a much better deal by keeping all PR and marketing services under one roof.
  • Anyone who is thinking of appointing a PR must first of all be very clear that their own objectives are in place to justify this appointment. Set clear goals – a great PR should be able to create a proposal that will answer your brief, solving any issues that may appear as part of the process.
  • Recommendation is as powerful and useful as ever. Ask around, or research salons that you know or like their approach to PR and find out which PR is creating this presence.
  • And, of course, search online for Hair PR or Hair and Beauty PR companies; by its very nature, the best, most active PR agencies will appear at the very top of the search list due to their activity levels, levels that you will benefit from.

Now, let’s touch upon the relationship you should be building with your agency. Here at Catalyst, we always seek long-term relationships with clients. As examples, Black and White Wax have been with us for 14 years, Seanhanna for three years, Revlon Professional six years.

Real benefits of these close ties are manifold and get the most out of an agency. They should be embedded in both the culture and strategic development of your operation and are therefore able to contribute accurately to your tactical and strategic development. You will also find that an agency will (or should!) become proactive with this knowledge, bringing you concepts and ideas that will add to your mix of activities.

So, as you can see, PR will add a lot, with a good agency genuinely able to both support your operation and bring new, innovative, focussed, and business building initiatives to the benefit of your company.

Ultimately, you can always ask your chosen agencies to provide you with contacts with their existing clients – so you can check yourself how well they operate and what they do for them.

I trust you will find this checklist useful and, of course, if you are looking at new agencies, we’d love to be included in your list.

In the meantime,

Stay Positive,

Johnny Paterson