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15 mistakes companies make when hiring a PR firm

By Jason Mudd

Use this checklist to make sure you’re optimizing your relationship with your PR firm


Don't make these mistakes.

Here are fifteen mistakes your company might be making when hiring a public relations firm:

Mistake #1. Hiring a PR firm too soon:

  • Before you have a company/product.
  • Before you have funding secured.
  • Before you have a budget.

Mistake #2. Instead of hiring a PR firm, hiring an ad agency that dabbles in PR. Who ends up recommending mostly advertising programs (at an additional cost) while you’re still paying a PR retainer.

Mistake #3. Hiring a PR firm based on appearances:

  • Attractive employees or agents wearing specific business attire.
  • An impressive first impression without any substance.

Mistake #4. Not realizing the risks – or overthinking the risk.

Mistake #5. Hiring the affordable solution instead of the right solution (underspending on PR).

Mistake #6. Hiring a PR firm before it has demonstrated similar experiences and similar results to what you’re looking for. Just like they say in the auto business, ask for the Carfax; ask for the case studies.

Mistake #7. Expecting a guarantee of sales from PR.

Mistake #8. Thinking the people on the pitch (sales) team are going to be your account contacts.

Mistake #9. Emphasizing measurement yet unwilling to spend the upfront time and money to measure properly.

Mistake #10. Getting frustrated when the results don’t happen quickly.

Mistake #11. Being too selective by being unwilling to participate in interviews with smaller media outlets or smaller roles with bigger outlets.

Mistake #12. Unwilling to share product samples with media or give the media access to certain people.

Mistake #13. Expecting the PR firm to pitch newsrooms for stories that aren't newsworthy outside of your company.

Mistake #14. Having the first measurement conversation with your PR firm only after upper management starts asking ROI questions.

Mistake #15. Not sticking with it for the long haul:

  • PR is a long-term game; many companies quit too soon.
  • Hiring a PR firm only on a project basis and not for proactive long-term success
  • Remember, quick hits are quickly forgotten.

A PR firm is critical to your company's success. When you hire a PR agency, you want to ensure you're thrilled with the outcome. You can't afford to waste thousands of dollars and months of missed opportunities. The right PR builds a strong brand and a great reputation for you.


jason-mudd-axia-pr-1.jpgClients love Jason’s passion, candor and commitment as well as the team he has formed at Axia Public Relations. He’s advised some of America’s most admired brands, including American Airlines, Dave & Buster’s, Hilton, HP, Pizza Hut and Verizon. He is an Emmy Award-winning, accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur and earned his certification in inbound marketing. He founded the PR firm in July 2002. Learn more about Jason.

Featured Image Credit: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations, PR tips

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