Are you considering working with a media consultant? Deliberating how to choose the right person or firm to manage your public relations activity?
In the same way, we do not go to court without a lawyer or seek the help of a doctor when taking care of our health, it is advisable to seek the help of a communications consultant when considering work in the media arena.
As we go about choosing a Public Relations consultant to work with, we must first assess our needs and then try to figure out who will be the media consultant we will choose, their specialties, and how they can help us realize our objectives.
In most cases, we explore options for media consultants through personal recommendations, online searches, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
Before we make our decision, we should check the following:
- What is the goal we wish to achieve? Defining the goal will prove helpful in the process of selecting the right consultant and will also promise more effective and accurate work on the consultant’s part.
- What are the skills and expertise we think the consultant should have?
- Does the consultant know our field? The competitors? The market?
- Look for recommendations. Do we know anyone who worked with this consultant? Try to look for people who did. Important questions to be inquired will be levels of professionalism, creativity, initiative, and commitment. Personal chemistry and trust are crucial for the success of the joint work.
- Learn who your consultant is. Familiarize yourself with their website, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Check if they have experience in your area.
- Meet several consultants. Consider the consultants’ knowledge. See how enthusiastic they are about the project and how much they identify with your goals.
- Does the consultant understand your business and needs? Do his ideas fit the DNA of your company? Your character? Some consultants might recommend initiating provocation to get attention – but that doesn’t work for everyone. Does it work for you? Other options might be events, conferences, polls – these all come with considerable costs. If you do not have the budget for it, the media consultant should devise a plan benefiting your organization’s resources.
- What is the consultant’s expertise? It is essential to make sure the media consultant understands your line of work. For example, a consultant specializing in commerce and restaurants might not be an excellent fit for your company if its focus is on the stock market. The consultant should have the abilities, knowledge, and experience needed to work in your field.
- Who are the consultant’s current and past customers? Ask to hear about actual cases the consultant managed and how they dealt with challenges like your own.
- Do we have good chemistry? If the interpersonal connection is not good, there is no point in moving forward.
Pleasant discourse, mutual understanding, and trust are essential. Without chemistry and trust, it’s just not going to work. The media consultant is a confidant, and you should feel comfortable telling them your company’s best-kept secrets, share plans, and lean on them in times of crisis. If you don’t think that describes the person in front of you, keep looking.
- Who is the actual service provider? When working with a large firm, it’s common to have the work done by case managers and not by the firm’s head. It would be a good idea to clarify who will provide the service and meet them to determine their abilities and chemistry before committing to work.