5 Signs to Spot a Bad PR Agency

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You took the dive and hired an agency. But how do you tell if they’re pulling their weight? Are you getting the results you anticipated, or do you feel like you’re hand-holding when you were expecting expertise? Agencies should work as an extension to your in-house PR team, delivering results on time, and perfectly in line with your brand. If not, you might have hired a dud. Use our five top tips to help you decide.
1. How’s the content?
Are you spending more time correcting grammar than it would take to write your own release? Is each release going back and forth with corrections for days before it’s approved? Do you get the feeling your agency don’t fully understand your company and its goals? If your content is coming in poorly written, or doesn’t reflect your brand, your agency may not be fully committed to the work they’re doing for you. By their nature, agencies will always be working across a number of clients – but you shouldn’t feel that. If you aren’t receiving their full attention, it could be a sign to move on.
2. What channels are they using?
An over-reliance on press releases, or social media, or your blog, could mean they’re not confident about being creative. Sure, press releases will reach a wider audience, and social channels are great for brand awareness and reach, but a good PR campaign should cover a range of resources, rather than depending on the safe options. Guerrilla marketing means a bespoke service that will suit your company’s needs, and explores new channels in line with your service.
3. Do you know what you’re getting for your money?
The results of your investment in a PR agency should be clear. If you’re not entirely sure what your agency are doing for you, it might be time to reconsider. Arrange monthly meetings to discuss targets and results, and set actions for the month ahead so you know you’re getting your money’s worth. Measurable goals mean your agency can’t slack off.
4. What promises are being made?
No agency can guarantee coverage, followers, or sales. If they could, they’d be charging a lot more! They can guarantee that they will work their hardest to deliver content that should lead to those outcomes, but it’s unrealistic to promise numbers. If they are, be wary. Contacts and knowledge can go a long way, but there’s no way of knowing what the press will and won’t pick up from one day to the next, so results can be unpredictable.
5. Speaking of results, are you getting any?
It can take a while to gain traction, especially if you’re launching a brand from scratch, but if you’re still not seeing any solid outcomes after six months, it might be time to sit down with your PR agency and review your plan. Sure, it’s unrealistic to make promises, but if the content is right, it should be creating the reach you need to get recognised.
At OggaDoon, we specialise in guerrilla marketing and comms that creates reach for brands with passion and purpose. A wide range of content streams, creative communications, and a bespoke service tailored to your company’s needs, we will work to suit your goals and ambitions.

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