I am frequently asked by tech clients before they choose us, “why should we hire Ripley PR and not a New York City or Los Angeles-based agency?”
There are a lot of PR agencies out there. Some are great. Some are not. (I’ve seen plenty of both.)
Some questions you might want to ask yourself: Do you want a generalist agency or a specialist? Do you want a large agency or a boutique agency?
The number one question I recommend you asking is this: What are your goals in hiring an agency?
If your goal is to sell your tech product to construction companies, you should speak to an agency that specializes in construction public relations. If you want to sell to home service businesses, you should speak to an agency that specializes in home service. If you’re selling to hospitals, find a healthcare IT public relations specialist. You get the point.
If you have a B2B tech company, chances are great that Ripley PR knows and understands your target audience. We work with specialized industries, so yes, we work with tech companies and regularly garner stories for our clients in tech and mainstream business publications, but we may also specialize in your target industry as well.
So, going back to the original question. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Location should not be a consideration. Years ago, having a local PR agency was the way to go. Chances were high that your PR agency had a rolodex of contacts that they regularly met for coffee. Now, with the influx of freelance journalists working remotely all over the country, we are able to reach out with good stories that will pique the interest of their readers or viewers, no matter where they are based. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
Look for expertise. The PR agency you want is the one that knows the most about your target audience. At Ripley PR, we work hard to maintain positive, professional relationships with credible journalists all over the U.S. We were founded on the cornerstone specialty of B2B public relations, and our success includes consistently securing stories for our clients in high-profile publications.
Who will be managing your account? I have been on the hiring end of agencies, so I know that the very best of professionals may “sell” you on the agency’s services, but as soon as you sign, you’re handed off to a junior. You will have a proven, experienced team member here as your main point of contact at Ripley PR – a specialist that understands your business and how our communication efforts support your goals.
Check out the writing quality. The best PR agencies write succinct, compelling press releases and bylined articles. If you choose an agency that doesn’t specialize in your business, you may have to teach them everything – possibly even industry jargon and trade shows that your target audience attends. Journalists are also more willing to pick up content that is well written. Poorly written materials will end up in the trash.
Beware of Guarantees. No PR professional should ever guarantee a story with a journalist or publication. Even if we have fantastic relationships and the best media relations team, there are other factors that play in, such as breaking news. If you meet an agency that makes guarantees, beware.