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Top tips to briefing a PR consultancy

By Mike Davies

So, you’ve started looking for a PR consultancy?

It's a big decision to bring in external PR services to a business, but all too often we hear about companies who dive head first into the process without thinking about what they are looking for – or even what PR success would look like.

The most important thing to do if you’re bringing in a PR consultancy, is to put a solid briefing document together – for two reasons:

1. It will give your potential consultancy the chance to put together the best and most creative pitch they can (which will get you better results).

2. More importantly, it will help focus your own mind, and help you figure out exactly why you’re taking on PR support, and what you expect it to achieve for you.

Read our top tips to brief your new PR agency here

When it comes to the first point, your potential PR partner needs to get a good idea what you’re looking for and a poor or ambiguous brief will result in a confused pitch which will likely be wide of the mark.

If your consultancy is any good they should be able to dismantle an average brief and ask the questions to get the information they need - unfortunately others will be too timid about offending a client and will plough on; coming to the table with an irrelevant idea.

There are a number of things to consider when going into a PR pitching process, and a number of key questions you need to include when briefing a consultancy.

Some of those include:

· Your company’s details (products and services, annual turnover, business owners/investors)

· What market are you in? And where do you fit into the market? (are you the market leader or the new innovate company on the block?)

· Who are your competitors?

· What are your business’ commercial objectives for the next 1, 5, 10 years and who are you looking to reach through PR activity? (investors/customers/governments/your own employees)

· What marketing are you already doing and what channels are you using? (Do you have a company blog and is it updated regularly? Are you active on social media and via what channels? Have you done PR before? What went well? What didn’t go well?)

· What does PR success look like for you? (More web visitors? Higher ranking on Google? Better brand reputation? More leads?)

· Budget (Don’t forget this one)

There are, of course, other things you can include in a brief but the above pointers will get you off to a good start.

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