November 18, 2022

Getting the most value from your PR agency

Communications, Digital Marketing, Public relations, Publicity, Strategy

Length: 10-minute read

Quick summary: Your PR agency should be working collaboratively with you to provide proactive PR strategies that align with your business goals. Getting the most value out of PR requires great communication, honesty, and a strong relationship between your business and the B2B PR agency you’ve chosen to work with. This article outlines the key elements to guarantee a valuable partnership with your agency.

Are you getting the most value from your public relations agency?

PR is essential when it comes to developing and implementing successful campaigns, improving your organisation’s reputation, fostering brand recognition, and so much more. However, successful PR requires you to consider numerous elements, including:

  • where your brand currently sits in the market
  • how you plan to develop new ideas, campaigns, and media strategies
  • how to identify opportunities in the media and market
  • your understanding of the industry
  • your ability to remain in-the-know about what’s happening locally, across the world, and in the sector.

This is where a public relations agency that knows and understands your industry is an asset to your organisation. A B2B PR agency provides the resources to help your business achieve both short- and long-term goals against defined key performance indicators (KPIs). Not only are agency teams experts in the field (it’s what they live and breathe), they can also leverage extensive databases, understand the operations behind relevant publications, and capitalise on pre-existing relationships with journalists; something that in-house teams can’t always do.

A PR agency takes the pressure off internal communication teams and, when used well, can work as an extension of the business and marketing strategy. However, simply choosing to work with a PR agency doesn’t automatically guarantee success. In fact, if you’re reading this article, you likely already work with an agency and suspect you could be getting more value from your investment.

Below, we’ll explore some ways you can tell if you’re working with the right agency, or if it’s time to consider a switch.

A strong relationship with your PR agency is essential

Building a strong relationship with your PR team is the foundation of future PR success. With this, the agency team will feel more aligned with your business and its goals, understand your business, its target audience, and how it works. With that in place, the team will be able to provide ideas, opportunities, and PR strategies that go above and beyond what’s typical to help elevate your results.

A strong relationship between your business and its PR agency hinges on three key elements:

  1. That you know and, understand, or at least feel comfortable with, how PR works.
  2. That you have defined and agreed on clear expectations, roles, and responsibilities at the start of the relationship.
  3. That frequent communication and updates go both ways between the PR team and your business.

High-performing PR agencies will look for strong communication with your team and will develop a clear understanding of what success means to your organisation. The team may start by reviewing your business’s previous PR activities, media releases, current campaigns in market, and success factors across these strategies.

A specialist B2B IT PR agency will gather this data and understanding very quickly and turn its attention to getting your business on the path towards your ideal communication outcomes. Working with your agency to set realistic, measurable objectives to be reviewed regularly to ensure everyone is working towards a clear and mutually agreed goal.

After selecting the right agency, the work doesn’t finish there; a truly successful strategy requires your ongoing active participation. While the right agency will be proactive and won’t require much hand-holding, just like any other business partner, you get out what you put in.

So, how can you get the most out of your B2B PR agency?

Brief your PR agency thoroughly

For a PR agency to work as an extension of your company, the team needs to understand not only what you do, but the ins and outs of your business. The more the PR team understands your business, the better they can develop an effective PR strategy and stories to build your profile with the right audience.

An important note to remember is that your PR agency can only work with the information you provide.

This means it’s your responsibility to ensure your agency is aware of any new or emerging business news or developments. This could include:

  • internal, confidential information
  • customer-facing news
  • the launch of new products or services
  • new customer and partnership wins
  • big and/or new announcements or updates for the business.

If your agency knows what’s on the horizon, the team can prepare appropriately and give you the best possible advice. Agencies will happily sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and would never divulge commercially sensitive information.

Establishing good communication and strong trust between you and the agency is one of the basic principles of public relations when it comes to a successful PR strategy.

Be timely with your updates to your PR agency

Like any successful project, PR campaigns require strategy and planning. Updating your PR team about an important announcement or executive visit a couple of days out will not yield  the best results, if any at all. Instead, it’s likely to result in frustration, stress, and a strained relationship with your PR agency.

Providing adequate lead time for non-urgent announcements will mean that your PR team can carefully craft a great pitch, tailor it to each media outlet, assist with your interview preparation and strategically time it to generate the most traction.

Likewise, you also need your company contact and spokesperson to be readily available for urgent approvals or requests and interviews . Journalists work on tight deadlines, and accommodating their last-minute requests can often mean your spokespeople become trusted sources and your company a go-to for industry commentary or insights. Read our blog Preparing for an interview: tips for success for more information on how to ensure a successful media interview.

Provide constructive feedback while being willing to hear what your PR agency has to say

Being honest with your PR team is absolutely crucial. If there is an issue, or you’re not satisfied with your results, it’s important to speak up and let your agency know in a constructive manner.

What was it exactly that left you unsatisfied and why? Were you disappointed with media uptake on a particular tactic, or is there something that needs to be addressed in the PR strategy? You don’t want to let your PR agency go too far down a road that leaves you unhappy when letting them know early on can see the strategy pivot to achieve more desirable outcomes.

A good PR agency will accept the feedback eagerly, and work with you to address the issue and find a solution that everyone is happy with. Likewise, if you are happy with a particular activity, share it with your team so they can continue to generate similar results.

It is equally important to listen to and trust your agency. You hired a team of B2B PR experts for their ability to provide strategic counsel. Your PR agency may look at a situation differently and offer advice you might not have expected, especially in a crisis. This will be based on the team’s experience in the industry as well as valuable knowledge of media relations. Hear them out, even if you ultimately decide not to follow that advice.

Take advantage of all services your PR agency offers

PR agencies have moved well beyond traditional media relations, often offering an array of additional services to provide an integrated approach to your communication strategy. Centralising communications through your PR agency by taking advantage of these services will not only ensure that you are delivering one coherent message but  also relieve some of the pressure on your internal teams.

 Some of these services may include:

Be realistic

Setting realistic expectations is one of the most important ways to get the most out of your PR agency. As we mentioned, at the beginning of the relationship with your PR team, it’s important to discuss what success looks like to you and what you want to achieve from the partnership. However, when it comes to expectations around media, it’s important to understand that there are many factors that contribute to getting featured on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald or Australian Financial Review.

These factors may include, but are certainly not limited to: your organisation type, what news or insights you have to offer, the story, the spokesperson and their level of expertise, the current appetite for your topic in that particular publication, and the news cycle at that time.

Working with your PR agency at the beginning of the partnership to set realistic, measurable objectives will help you understand what is possible.

Recognition PR is an expert B2B public relations agency for technology companies across a range of sectors, including cybersecurity, software, space, defence, and more. We are a trusted advisor to some of the world’s top companies in these sectors because we listen, learn, collaborate, and proactively provide PR strategies that achieve our clients’ goals.

Find out how we can help your business to get the most out of its PR agency. Contact us today.



Contact our team today