You have an excellent team, a stupendous product and a stellar work ethic. But what good are these elements if no one knows about them? Well, you’re going to need a good cheerleader.

Every company – large or small – needs some good old-fashioned public relations. If you don’t have PR, then your business likely won’t get very far. All of your favourite brands have received PR at the beginning – many of these brands still utilize PR to stay in your consciousness and to remind everyone that they’re still around.

You may think that you don’t need assistance from a PR agency right now, or you may even believe that you just need a Twitter and a Facebook account to give yourself the spotlight. Unfortunately, it takes more than a couple of tweets and Likes to get ahead today. Here are five tips for your startup to partner with a PR agency:

1. What do You Want to Achieve with a PR Agency?

First, do you know what a PR agency does? Second, what do you want to achieve with a PR firm? Third, do you have the budget to hire a PR organization?

These are pertinent questions to put forward to the team.

That said, it is crucial to determine what exactly you want to get done by tapping the services of a PR entity. Do you want to get in the newspaper? Do you want to build up your brand with press releases? Do you embark upon a full-scale social media campaign.

Whatever the case, it is important to first know what you want done with a public relations pro.

2. Heed Their Advice All the Time

Once you begin partnering with a PR agency, you need to realize one thing: they are the experts, and that is why you took them on in the first place. If you do not heed their advice, then why did you bother contacting them at all?

Simply put: listen to their suggestions, heed their advice and follow through on a plan.

3. Maintain Reasonable Expectations from the Beginning

A common mistake that new clients make, according to a variety of public relations professionals, is that they immediately expect the moon. They think that their brand is going to make it to the front page of The New York Times, USA Today, The Globe and Mail or YouTube. This is the worst way to go about things.

Here is what you should do instead: maintain reasonable expectations from the very beginning.

Should you think you’re going to raise 95 percent brand awareness right away, you’re going to be disappointed.

4. Communicate Corporate Updates to the PR Firm

Did you just hire an industry veteran of 23 years? Did you reach a contract with a big corporation or government? Did you just launch a brand new product or service?

Well, whatever new happens to your business, it is essential that you communicate these updates to the PR agency. It may seem inconsequential to you, but it is the PR company’s job to turn the small things into sensational events.

5. Offer Feedback for a Job Well Done

Has a well-known business publication interviewed you about your company? Have you appeared on a podcast because of your startup? If so, this is because of the PR agency.

It is important to provide feedback to the public relations outlet for a job well done. Remember, you won’t get far if you keep berating the media company. On the other hand, you’ll get better service and results if you are proactive, positive and participating.

In today’s media-overload environment, you need any help you can get to stand out from the crowd. You may be an experienced Facebook user or Instagramer, but PR pros know how to navigate the dinosaur, digital and social media worlds like no one else.

Whether it is composing a press release or landing an interview with a website, PR agencies have an excellent grasp of media, and you must comprehend this from the start.

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