6 Things You Need to Have in Mind When You Are Starting Your Own PR Agency
These last couple of years have shown to be strong for the PR industry. Despite being a very busy market with a constant influx of new players, the World PR Report of the year 2015 has found that the PR industry has grown by 7%. The term PR, or public relations, stands for a wide range of services, and nowadays, many PR agencies offer their social media expertise, digital marketing, and public affairs advice. This indeed is a crowded marketplace, which can be off-putting for some entrepreneurs, but the demand for reputation management and PR still remains strong. Because the industry is moving fast, this means that new names need to hold their own bigger players if they want to keep up with the curve. So, what will it take for you to make it in this world of PR?
The first thing you need to do is to check your contract. You need to review it carefully and also get advice from your lawyer. Feel free to assume the worst, because most contracts will prevent you from approaching clients or persuading fellow members of staff to join you.
There are too many new PR agencies that are distracted by not being able to approach the clients they want, and in many cases, they are not able to succeed in this marketplace. After all, this is a small industry, and a bad word spreads fast. So, let’s get to other useful things you need to have in mind when you are starting your own PR agency.
Establishing the Process and Infrastructure
To ensure that you have a solid business model, you have to do some number crunching. This includes establishing a budget for the first two years of your business and your realistic expectations. How much can you actually bring in and how much are you going to need to support your business on the rise. Also, you need to think about how much money you need to set aside for taxes, bonuses, and think about how much profit you need to generate to reinvest it back into the business. This is where you can also determine the training you will provide for your new employees, and many other costs and business expenses that originally did not cross your mind.
Keep your Cash In Mind
Before your PR starts making profits, you will be needing a strong portfolio of clients. But, you need to be careful not to get carried away with your pitching process, because you might end up making promises you will not be able to deliver. Winning over clients is one thing, but being able to keep them is what will make your PR agency a success. You need to balance the excitement of winning a client and ensuring that you will have the right team and infrastructure to deliver the right service. This can be done if you invest appropriately.
Concentrate On Being the Best, Forget Originality
Many people, when starting a new business, have an idea of making it different, and they worry that, if they cannot find a unique selling point, they will not progress. In a busy industry like PR, doing something that no one else has done before is kind of difficult, so how will you differentiate yourself and your brand? The truth is, you do not need to be unique, because the idea of a unique selling point in this industry is something that is frequently talked about, but not that relevant. You just need to be aware of what is the thing that you do better than everyone else.
Even though there are many PR agencies out there, this does not mean that yours will not have the opportunity to grow. If a PR agency is leaving a gap, it does not matter how many agencies are out there; you need to try to take this opportunity. The PR industry is moving so fast and you are going to need this one crucial skill that will make you stand out, and that is adaptability. Running a PR agency is all about the art of new, so always keep on top on the ever-changing technologies and other changes to this profession.
Think Twice Before Hiring
No matter how brilliant your skills in management are, or how extensive your client list is, this is the type of industry where you will be nothing without the right team. PR is a type of business that thrives on teamwork, ideas and creativity. You will be needing a balanced workforce that will have the right talents.
There are too many agencies out there that have people with the same skills, so if you are creative and constantly coming up with fresh and bright ideas, you need to find someone who will handle the client, organization and production side of the business. But, if you are an ace publicist, you will be needing someone with social and digital skills. Always remember that the best PR agencies are built as teams, so work hard, surround yourself with people that have valuable skills and make sure to treat them well.
Provide the Right Environment for Your Creativity
One of the most common debates among entrepreneurs is whether to work from home or the office. This is something you need to take into consideration, particularly in the PR industry, where presentation and reputation are an integral part of your brand. If you decide to work from home, weigh up the cons and pros. Yes, it does keeps the costs down, but you will not be able to host meetings. The truth is that you can start a PR agency anywhere, but if you want to evolve and persuade your clients that you are ambitious and professional, you need to have the right environment. Your office does not need to be that luxurious, but people cannot exactly work at your kitchen table.
The Location Is Important
Once you have decided that you need to find a proper office space, there are few things you need to consider. First, you need to make sure that the location is accessible for your potential clients, but also take into consideration your potential employees. Your location needs to be all about finding a place that will be great for you to recruit creative talents, because you need to be spending your money on amazing people, not on overpriced rent expenses. It is advised not to tie yourself into a long contract because you can never be sure how fast your business will grow. When you take on a certain place, make sure that you will have a lot of break clauses in the lease, because having the option to terminate your lease is essential.
These are just some of the things you need to have in mind when you are starting your own PR agency. Some of them may seem foreboding, but consider the upsides of running your own business, because who knows? Someday, you may even be one of the celebrity PR firms in the industry. Perhaps the best reward in running your own PR agency is that freedom when it comes to making the final decision. That reward comes almost immediately and stays with you forever, and this is a perk that only business owners can enjoy. Numerous other rewards will come only after you have carefully planned everything; set some realistic expectations, plan some more and work harder than you have ever worked before. This is what will help you achieve success. The only thing we can promise you is that owning and managing your business can be challenging, rewarding and different from what you have expected. We have shared our insights, and now, it’s up to you to find out the rest.