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What a Good PR Consultant Will Tell You

The following is from a great post: Things Your PR Firm Should Tell You (That You May Not Want To Hear) by Richard Etchison at Crenshaw Communications.

The fortunes of a company and its PR agency are inextricably linked, and a good PR team must have the confidence and courage to deliver bad news when necessary. A good PR agency tells you when:

  • You Don’t Have a Brand: Most businesses with a weak brand recognize it, but just don’t know what to do about it. If the story isn’t compelling and different, the PR team needs to say so. The PR agency brings valuable objectivity and experience to the table, and a good team will collaborate on defining and fleshing out the brand.

  • Your Brand is Holding you Back: Not every PR professional is a branding expert, but they are experts in messaging. At times, a company’s branding or advertising will compete with the PR messaging, or it simply doesn’t fit the story the PR team is serving up to media. A smart client will make sure the PR team has a voice in key branding changes and decisions, and a good agency will capitalize on it.

  • You Have Unrealistic Expectation for Public Relations: An experienced PR team will manage expectations by outlining tangible deliverables and measurable goals at the outset. The PR team will be doing a disservice to everyone involved by allowing expectations to exceed reality. It’s the PR team’s responsibility to make sure the client knows what to expect and when to expect it.

  • You Need to Take a Long-Term View.

  • A good PR firm will urge the client to do what is in its best long-term interest. This applies to crisis communications, but also to customer relations. This means keeping an eye on and addressing upticks in customer complaints.

Hard conversations between agencies and clients lead to a better working partnership. A solid agency-client relationship thrives on collaboration and open communication, so a good agency will offer it and a good client will welcome it. The full post is available at:

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