3 min read

5 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a PR Firm

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I’ve been out of the dating game for more than 10 years (hi, Andrew!), but getting to talk to lots of cool companies looking to hire a PR firm brings me back to those days. I still feel the nervous, excited energy as I wait to see if we’ll be a good match. With the mix of companies coming our way, we’ve been hit with so many great questions to help determine if our team will be the perfect PR match.

To prepare you for the next time you’re looking to hire a PR firm, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite questions to help determine if you’ve got the right chemistry.


1. What does success look like?

There are so many things a successful PR campaign can do for your business – from driving sales to landing new partners to building executives’ profiles. But what it takes to get there is different depending on your goals.

For example, quantity of coverage does not equal quality of coverage, and a firm should know the difference and be able to explain media impact. The more open and transparent you can be with the success metrics that matter most to your business, the more effective your PR team will be in achieving those goals.


2. How do you stay on top of industry trends?

News is constant, and one of the best ways to get into articles is having a PR firm that can connect the dots from trending stories back to your company. Your PR team should invest in top tools, like BuzzSumo and SignalAI, to keep a pulse on trends, but, more importantly, they need to do the work to strategically get you in the right stories. Talking for the sake of talking will never help reach your goals!


3. How will I show the value of PR to my boss/board/executive team?

PR is an investment both in time and resources, so reporting on success should be more than sharing a quick article. A strong partner needs to show how results achieved business objectives, anything from driving leads into the sales funnel to assisting with category creation.

Don’t trust a firm that promises a certain number of articles (it’s all made up – I promise!), impressions or vanity metrics. Your team should be building insightful, ROI-focused reporting for stakeholders across your organization.


4. How can you help with my business challenges?

I love this question because every company needs some kind of outside support (whether product, workforce, sales, etc.), and by starting that conversation with a PR team, it shows you’re willing to accept the help.

With the right strategy and collaboration, PR can prepare your organization for many scenarios: Are you falling behind competitors? Do your customers not understand the full range of your solutions? Is your CEO not sought after as an expert in your industry?

Be open to having these tough conversations and collaborating on solutions.


5. How do you manage working with our extended team?

If you’ve been handling PR or marketing solo, I know it can be a lot of pressure to trust a new partner. We see “vendor” as a dirty word. Your PR firm should be a partner and know how to respect and optimize your time.

Along with hosting brainstorming calls with your team, the right PR team should take the time to learn the ins and outs of your industry, and your spokespeople, so they can draft compelling content in your voice – without the work falling entirely on you.


These are just a sample of the great getting-to-know-you questions we’re often asked in the onboarding process. We’ve been asked just about everything; no question is ever too basic or simple if you’re just starting the process of hiring a PR firm. With the constantly evolving world of PR, a great team needs to stay ahead and seek new innovative approaches to client challenges.

Not ready to commit to a full-scale PR program but think you could benefit from media training, a crisis consultation or Glassdoor coaching? Check out our Express Services.

Have other questions from your own list? Make sure to drop us a line

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