It used to be such an exciting feeling. After you signed the contract, there was so much hope. New campaigns, new prospects. It was supposed to be a match made in business-relationship heaven.
Then, something changed. Your PR and marketing firm started hiding things. Requests for campaign results went unanswered. That new strategy flopped, but no one bothered to change its direction. A bill came in with a few more numbers than expected.
The symptoms of a struggling public relations partnership are many, and staying involved too long can seriously damage your ability to grow.
Think for a moment. Are any of these true of your PR firm?
They don't communicate.
Like all contracted vendors, a PR and marketing firm works for you. They work to make your business more successful. So when you have a question, it should be answered. Even the smallest inquiry about a strategy, its goals, and its results should be responded to promptly and thoroughly.
They don't evolve.
Everything worked so well at first. A pitch to the most selective of trade publications resulted in a successful campaign. Those new pieces of web content engaged prospects and boosted clicks and conversions to an all-time high. Then, nothing. Well nothing more. Someone got comfortable and nothing evolved. Sure, you're doing better than you were before, but is more of the same enough?
They don't bring their A-game.
Before you started this relationship, the experience and talent at the firm impressed you greatly. The company came with positive references. Its employees all boasted portfolios of strong work and even better results. Then, after a few positive status reports, there was a new, unproven person handling your account rather than the leading voice responsible for boosting your business.
They don't demonstrate value.
You invested a lot of money and time in this relationship. You want to know it is working and in an objective, measureable way. Sure, it's going to take a little while to achieve every goal, but your PR firm should be able to show you that their plans work every step of the way.
They don't cost what they should.
Part of the reason your PR firm appealed to you in the first place was a consistent retainer and assurance that costs wouldn't fluctuate on a whim. Then, your invoice came, and there were a handful of unexpected costs for technology or new services you didn't really need. You're happy to pay for quality PR services, but you deserve a consistent price from the people and businesses you trust.
They don't even try.
Some strategies are the same from firm to firm. There are techniques in every profession that are universal. There's nothing wrong with that, but it can't be true for everything. You picked your PR firm because they said they'd be different from the rest. If they can't show you a dynamic, evolving plan to help your company succeed, it's time to find a new partner.
Any business owner will tell you that a reliable PR and marketing firm and strategy are among the most important tools to foster growth. It can take some time to find the right methods for your organization, but no one should tolerate consistently poor service. Don't let a failing relationship hurt your company or prevent you from achieving your goals.
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