Looking to appoint an equestrian, country & lifestyle PR? Then here are our top ten pointers on questions to ask to source the right agency for you…
1. ARE THEY A SPECIALIST AGENCY?
Choosing a PR agency that specialises in your field of business is going to be key to getting great results. It’s imperative that you find an agency that knows your business, understands your industry and the product you’re selling. Having the relevant specialist media contacts is also ultimately going to make a huge difference in selling your brand or products to the press: the right way, at the right time, to the right editors, bloggers and influencers! It’s pretty key, we think!
2. WHAT SERVICES DO THEY PROVIDE?
It will most certainly involve sending out press releases to the media, but that is where the similarity in services from different PR agencies finishes. What an agency will and won’t do will vary enormously from agency to agency, so you need to ask plenty of questions to determine what will work best for you. Here at MirrorMePR, we offer a wide range of award winning services including managing an equestrian brand’s sponsored riders and general influencer relationships, for example. However, do remember the main point of using a PR is getting your brand into the press! So, if they are also taking on the role of your social media manager across all platforms AND in-house photographer, graphic designer and brand manager etc. etc., then you need to question whether they will have enough time left to do some actual PR for you!!
3. WHAT TOOLS DOES YOUR PR NEED?
We will likely need as much information about you and your brand as possible! This includes company history, product information/ranges and high resolutions images in jpg format. When we talk about high resolution, we mean over 300dpi, which is the quality standard that print publications require. Also, watch out for infringement of copyright – do you have permission to use the images for PR & marketing? The more tools you give your agency, the more productive work they can do on your account!
4. WHO WILL BE WORKING ON YOUR ACCOUNT?
This sounds like a pretty obvious one, but it’s important to check in your first meeting exactly who will be looking after your account on a day-to-day basis and overseeing the account in general. Do they have the experience you are looking for and do you feel confident in them representing your brand? Our Social Media Marketing Team have the expertise to support your social PR and our core PR team likewise.
5. HOW LONG WOULD I HAVE TO APPOINT A PR BEFORE I SEE RESULTS?
With lots of online opportunities these days, your Lifestyle PR agent could potentially attain some great PR for you within hours. With long-lead media though, you would be looking at around 4 months before you see anything in there, due to their lead-time. In our experience, short-term PR project work doesn’t really work (unless it’s for an event) because by the time you have pushed the brand and the press are interested and want to start talking about the product or requesting samples, the project would have ended!
6. DO THEY COME RECOMMENDED?
This is key! Of course, everyone will always tell you how fabulous they are, but it’s worth asking their clients and also a few of the press or other people in the industry. We are more than happy for prospective clients to ask our clients about how we work, what we do and if what we say is the truth! It’s always better to do your research before appointing! We are proud to be featured on the Recommended Agency Register for many years now and continue to be rated highly anonymously by our clients – you don’t get better than that!
7. WHO ELSE DO THEY REPRESENT?
Do you see these brands a lot in the magazines? Don’t be just influenced just by the big players, as these will have advertising budgets, which will to an extent, ensure editorial exposure, but look out for the smaller brands. If they are also getting coverage, this is a good indication of the Country Brand PR’s relationships with the magazines and the hard work they are putting in to get coverage!
8. HOW LONG HAVE THEIR CURRENT CLIENTS BEEN WITH THEM?
If their clients have a high turnover, what does that say about the equestrian, country and lifestyle PR agency?
9. WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE THEM?
This is always a good question to ask the PR & Marketing Agency directly. They may not have disclosed every selling point they have, so this is a good opportunity to gauge what other strengths they may have hidden away!
10. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ME?
This is the ‘million dollar’ question (well, hopefully not that much!). The cost will depend on the size and experience of the agency and again varies considerably from agency to agency. It’s important to remember that you are paying the agency for their expertise, contacts, influence and ideas. We heard a great analogy for the worth of a good PR using a car break down. Despite the car owner taking it to two mechanics in the past year, the problem keeps happening, so they try a new mechanic, who has a great reputation. The mechanic lifts the hood, tinkers around for 10 minutes and gets the car started. “That will be £200 please” says the mechanic. The driver says “That’s outrageous – you only worked on the car for 10 minutes” to which the mechanic says “Yes, but didn’t I just get your car back on the road using my knowledge, experience and the right tools to get the results you wanted?” PR is the same – you are paying for that experience, expertise and knowledge in order to get results.
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