Chemistry and So Much More: Finding the right PR agency and other warm feelings

Choosing a PR agency is a big deal, and over the years, I have come to appreciate business leaders who consult both their head and their heart before jumping into a new relationship. Businesses looking for help with their brand should consider an agency’s strategic approach, creative capacity and bona fide experience. But it shouldn’t stop there. Chemistry matters more than anyone cares to admit. Before you get engaged, ask yourself: Is this team passionate about my business? Is the agency fired up to achieve a win for my brand? Can I imagine working with these people in high-stakes situations? In short, will I like them in the morning?

To help ensure successful matchmaking, Red Fan conducts background research on prospective clients. We want to know their track record, their competition, their investors, and if they have a proven team. We look at every aspect of their outward-facing brand from their website, social media, advertising, SEO performance, messaging, sponsorships, press releases and resulting press coverage. Our first conversation will be informed by the work we do before the client walks in the door.

Once engaged, we nearly always begin new client relationships with a brand positioning audit that eventually drives our recommendations for a six- to twelve-month campaign. We interview our clients, their employees and others with an informed perspective. We thoroughly daylight facts and perceptions from multiple directions. We dig into consumer insights. We research competitors, and we consider how our client can break out in a noisy and crowded marketplace. It is in these first four to six weeks that Red Fan’s most successful PR campaigns are born.

Sure, in that first meeting we could simply price out a laundry list of typical things PR agencies do, but that would be like throwing darts in the dark. Companies do this every day—just watch the news. Better yet, try to imagine the slough of non-news-making press releases that clutter the wire services every day. We’re not interested in throwing darts unless we know the target, our stance and the wind patterns. When we hit the bull’s-eye it will be because of our due diligence early in the relationship.

Red Fan works with a diverse set of clients and client needs. Some are short-term projects. Others are years-long relationships. Either way, we try to avoid rash decisions, the kind you regret in the morning. We don’t jump into long-term relationships without a mutual commitment to understanding each other first.

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