What should you be looking for in B2B PR company?

When outsourcing your PR activity, you need to find a partner you believe can help you achieve your goals, who you trust with your confidences, who you will enjoy working with and from whom you will acquire valuable knowledge. Oh and the chemistry needs to feel right too.

With this in mind here are some questions worth asking before signing on the dotted line.

1) What does success look like?

You need to share a vision of what you are trying to achieve with the help of your agency. Take the time to envision your desired results and create targets against which you can measure and celebrate success.

2) Who will be your day to day contact?

Know who you will be working with, meet them before you sign up and start to feel comfortable with your brand in their hands. There’s nothing worse than appointing an agency and finding you’re working with the office junior.

3) Who will be liaising with the press on your behalf?

It is always important to familiarise yourself with who will be communicating with the press as they are an ambassador for you, your values and your business.

4) Who will be drafting press material for you?

What are their capabilities, expertise and experience. Have a look at examples of their work – not just press coverage but the material they sent to the press in the first place and ask what the turnaround times to produce it were.

5) What are the campaigns KPI’s?

Quantifiable milestones help to determine whether you are succeeding or not and enable you to identify whether something needs reinforcing, adjusting or aborting. Ask if you can speak to the agency’s clients about their experiences in how targets were set and managed.

6) How will progress be reported?

Regular progress reports are an essential to keep track of campaign activities, monitor progress against the KPIs and to identify and address any emerging challenges to keep the delivery of the project on track. Most agencies will provide a ‘end of’ report but will this come with recommendations on how to build on successes or use insights to implement changes where necessary.

7) What is the problem-resolution process?

Hope for the best and plan for the worst. You need to have a procedure in place to address issues and challenges. It’s better to have a process rather than an assumption of how things will work and, if it’s not in your contract, for this to be documented as a point of reference.

Client-agency relationships rarely celebrate a third anniversary, a shocking statistic which is indicative of how hard it is to find the right PR Partner. This is probably because the matchmaking process is not given the right consideration. We hope answering these 7 questions will help you find your ‘forever’ agency!

This article originally appeared in August 2016