Monday, December 5, 2011

How to find a public relations firm

So your organization has decided that it needs some visibility, and you have been given the task of finding a public relations firm. How do you go about finding a public relations agency? Here are some tips:
  • Start with Google. By doing a quick Google search, you will be able to get an overview of public relations companies in your area. Use common search terms such as "public relations firms," "public relations companies," "public relations agencies," "agency public relations" and "companies public relations" to get a good snapshot.
  • Ask for referrals. Perhaps you have friends that work for other companies who have used a public relations firm. Ask their opinion of practitioners that they have worked with, including the scope of the project, areas of expertise, cost and other questions that you might have.
  • Consult the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). On the PRSA website, there is a "Find a Firm" tool. It provides the opportunity to find public relations firms by name, geographic region, industry or practice specialization, and whether or not the firm has accredited members.
  • Visit a local blog. In Minnesota, we have the Minnesota Public Relations Blog, which includes a list of Minnesota PR agencies as well as some agency profiles.
  • Read local business publications. In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Twin Cities Business provides a list of the top 25 public relations firms, and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal offers its Book of Lists for sale.
After you identify some possible firms, give them a call to describe what you're looking for and, if it seems appropriate, meet with them in person about next steps.
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