Is it better to hire a PR firm with a broad national reach, or a local firm with strong local relationships? The answer depends on your company’s business objectives.
Finding the right match in a public relations firm pays off in time, money and business performance, which is why it’s essential to ensure that you’ve done your homework before making the decision to hire.
One important question to ask before hiring a PR firm is whether your company would benefit more from a PR firm that is tapped into the local media landscape and community or one that may not know the local market as well but has strong national media ties. Answering this question will help you to narrow the list of firms for consideration.
REASONS TO CHOOSE LOCAL
If you can answer “yes” to most of the following questions, then it likely makes sense to engage a local firm with strong community ties and local media relationship:
- Is knowing the personality of your specific region important to your marketing and communications campaign?
- Is increased visibility in your local area important?
- Would more media coverage in the local media help further your business objectives?
- Do you need your PR firm to be on the ground at regional events, press conferences, sponsorships, etc.?
- Is it important that you meet with your PR team in person on a regular basis?
REASONS TO CHOOSE NATIONAL
If most of the points mentioned above don’t resonate for your business objectives, but you can answer “yes” to the following questions, then it likely makes sense to engage a national firm with a broader reach:
- Are strong national media relationships what your business needs to achieve it goals?
- When developing content, can the firm gather information and images remotely?
- Will positioning your company leaders as thought leaders on a national scale benefit the bottom line?
- Are you comfortable with a primarily virtual agency relationship?
SOMETIMES THE RULES DON’T APPLY
It’s also important to realize that sometimes it just doesn’t matter. Much of PR is about relationships. If the firm has the relationships or community connections you need, then they’re likely a good fit, regardless of whether their scope is primarily local or primarily national. Just remember that you should go through the exercise of asking these questions to ensure you’re making the best possible choice for your business.