Handling a PR account

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Are you hiring a public relations firm? Before you make a final decision, there are a series of questions you must ask.

The first and most important one involves who will be handling your account on a day-to-day basis. Larger firms often use the President to find new business but then hand over your publicity to an account executive. This account executive will literally be writing your press releases and pitching reporters on your behalf.

Larger firms often use the President to find new business but then hand over your publicity to an account executive.

This glorified bait-and-switch practice means you will only see the President again on a monthly basis, maybe supplemented by a phone call or two about strategy. The smaller the PR firm, the more likely the President will be personally involved with your account.

A second major question to ask your public relations firm involves its incorporation of online activities. Without online public relations, your attempts to achieve visibility will be severely handicapped, and you will not be getting your money’s worth. A public relations firm should possess a firm grasp of corporate blogs, email newsletters, social media and search engine optimization.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you should ask your potential public relations firm how it markets itself. If a company suggests a potential strategy to you, have they tried it for their own promotion? In short, do they practice what they preach? For example, if the firm suggests pursuing search engine optimization, how well does their own organization rank?

Following these three guidelines/questions will help you to weed out potential public relations firms and hire someone who can really do the job.