Who turned the lights on? Is your business ready for the spotlight?

Working with inspirational entrepreneurs as we do here at AMBITIOUS, we’re often asked ‘Do you think we’re ready to take on a PR consultancy?”

Sometimes our answer is no. Here’s our advice if you’re looking to turn the lights on, put your business in the spotlight and start generating PR for your business…

Be prepared to share the ins and outs of your business – PR consultancies need to know everything about your business. This is so we can develop the right strategy based on decent information, and put in place the best campaign of activity that’s right for your business.

For clients this includes sharing your personal ambition, business goals, business plans, financials, customer profiles, analytics and any R&D in progress. An NDA agreement can help you feel that you’ve got things covered, especially in the early days when you are new into the client / consultancy relationship. If your agency is better equipped, they’ll do a better job

PR is not a press release – fair to say that a press release can be used as a PR tool, but it is by no means what PR is all about. PR is Public Relations – or put another way relationships with your publics. It’s the work that goes into developing and engaging with communities, influencers and audiences, encouraging them to share your story and build the ultimate in advocacy.

Do you know what you want PR to do for you and your business? – every business has a different PR need, so you have to be clear on what it is you want PR to do for your business. That maybe launching your business from scratch, showcasing innovative new products to seek investment, raising an industry issue that’s affecting your business or one of many other reasons. PR is a highly effective communications tool, but it may not be the answer to your business problem

Have you or the team got time to invest in PR? – it’s not just about investing in a PR budget. Being spotlight ready means having the time to spend with your PR agency and having the time to respond to activity that they will generate. PR is a hungry creature and thrives on information, insight and opportunity. And, a PR agency can’t operate alone without your involvement & support. Just paying fees won’t cut it. If you don’t have time to spend on PR, then maybe this isn’t the right time for your business

Don’t be shy – it may be that this is the first time you’ve made the move to be in the spotlight. That can sometimes be a daunting prospect if you’ve not done anything like that before. We always look for the best way to help entrepreneurs tell their story. After all, everyone has a compelling tale to tell! Sometimes that involves tailoring the campaign activity or working with other people in the team to help tell your business story

What can I expect from hiring a PR consultancy – aside from an open honest relationship from the off, it really depends on the type of support you need from your PR agency. Make sure you spend time researching, speaking and meeting with potential PR consultancies before you appoint. Agencies tend to charge an hourly rate or a project rate to fund executive time, so depending on what you need, the agency should tailor a programme of activity with a pre agreed budget, and a set of measurements that everyone agrees to.

We’re always very clear about whom we’re best suited for and this is very much geared around the services we offer and the skills of the team. Most agencies offer the same transparency

How do I measure my return on investment? – your PR activity should be measured against a set of objectives. Importantly, objectives and metrics that both you and the agency agree to – good practice for setting expectations on both sides. Your objectives very much depend what your business goals are and should be tailored to support your business plan. Your agency can advise on realistic expectations and help you monitor and measure results suited to your business