Quick Guide For Small Business Owners: How To Pick PR & Marketing Agencies

The E.H. Anderson PR firm was founded as a boutique agency specializing in media relations. With the change in the PR landscape and the demands of their clients, Anderson PR evolved to become a full-service marketing agency. CEO of PeopleG2 advises on background checking potential and current employees.

 

lizanderson v2 Quick Guide For Small Business Owners: How To Pick PR & Marketing Agencies

Liz Anderson
(Photo courtesy of Liz Anderson)

 

“We are an experienced, tight-knit team. Just as clients are selective when choosing an agency, we ensure the client has a worthy story to publicize. It must be a win-win-win: a win for the client, a win for their targeted audience, and a win for us,” said Liz Anderson, founder and president of the firm.

Anderson’s team has an extensive background in storytelling and offers advice for those considering hiring a PR firm.

  • “During the agency interview process, if the marketing firm team talks about themselves — rather than ask questions and learn about your business — then move on to another agency. It must be a two-way relationship. Be prepared to discuss the not-so-good details of your business.”
  • “During the agency interview process, make them think on their feet. Ask for ideas for a marketing opportunity such as a business’s 25th anniversary. Keep your expectations in check. Expect an idea or two rather than an entire campaign spelled out, free of charge.”
  • “Ask for names and phone numbers of two current clients and two former clients, then call them. Find out what they like and do not like about the agency. Ask former clients why they no longer work with the agency.”
  • “Ensure that the point-of-contact handling your marketing campaign on a day-to-day basis has at least eight years of marketing or communications experience, and that the senior-level team — 20+ years each — are involved in your account on a weekly basis. Ask to see resumes, and then read them. Communicate with the senior level folks every few weeks.”
  • “Hire an agency that is honest, efficient and adaptable. Transparency is a must, especially on how time is spent each day on your marketing campaign. Shared Google spreadsheets work well here. The agency must also be transparent in what’s working and what’s not working to meet your business goals. No agency is perfect, and sometimes ideas simply do not pan out or the timing is bad.”
  • “Hire an agency that answers their phone rather than has an automated phone system.”
  • “Be clear on whether the agency will handle projects not specified in your agreement or contract. For example, you hire an agency to handle your Facebook page. Several months into the social media marketing campaign you get a call from an advertising representative about a special ad rate in an industry magazine. Can you bounce this opportunity off your agency? Know these things before hiring a marketing firm.”
  • “Not every business is ready for marketing. If an agency turns you down, ask what steps need to be completed in your business for a marketing campaign to be launched. Perhaps that firm will be your agency in the near future.”

 

 

This article was written by Robin D. Everson via Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.

 

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