Best Practices for Working with a PR Firm

Constructive relationships are at the heart of every successful PR strategy.

At Walker Sands, we go out of our way to develop close working relationships with our clients. Our team of seasoned PR professionals is tasked with delivering focused results for all of the businesses we serve – and they can't do unless our clients recognize their role as active participants in the process.

The bottom line is that good PR is a team effort. No PR firm in the world can deliver meaningful results if their clients aren't willing to fully engage in the development and execution of a coordinated PR strategy. Specifically, we find it helpful for businesses to embrace a handful of best practices when they work with Walker Sands or any other PR firm.

  • Know your objectives. It's unrealistic to expect your PR firm to deliver measurable outcomes until you've made an effort to identify the objectives you hope to achieve through the engagement. PR professionals can help clarify your objectives, but the heavy lifting is your responsibility.
  • Be newsworthy. At the risk of offending some folks, we're going to be blatantly honest – it's extremely difficult for us to promote your brand unless your company is engaged in activities that are actually newsworthy. There, we said it. You don't have to develop a cure for cancer to be newsworthy, but PR is most effective when clients are willing to pursue fresh ideas and innovative strategies.
  • Engage in dialogue. The process of creating and refining a PR strategy requires an ongoing dialogue between the client and the PR team. When the client is unwilling to participate in dialogue, the process comes to a grinding halt.
  • Conduct timely follow-up. In most cases, media representatives will directly contact your business if they are interested in featuring your brand in a story. Immediate follow-up is essential in securing PR coverage. News cycles won't wait and if you don't respond to media inquiries in a timely manner, reporters will move on to the next organization on their list.
  • Think long term. PR is a long-term promotional strategy for raising your organization's profile and visibility. Although each media placement has an immediate impact, it's wrong to expect to achieve ROI in days or weeks. As your organization gains long-term credibility with the media, the return on your efforts will become more evident.

Walker Sands is a leading Chicago PR firm with a reputation for taking a client-centered approach to PR challenges. Take the first step – give us a call and let's talk about how we can start creating a winning PR and marketing strategy for your organization.