You’ve gone through the process of selecting a public relations firm and are moving fast to get them up to speed and producing. Depending on the size and structure of your company, you are probably a senior marketing executive, a product or brand specialist or perhaps even the company founder.
You are the interface between your new PR firm and the rest of the company. Do they need to work with anyone else? The answer is yes.
In fact, my preference is to get to know as many people in your company as possible.
The Corner Offices: If you are going to report to superiors about our joint progress, I would like to know those individuals. Our firm will benefit from understanding the expectations of your company’s most senior executives, as well as their vision, concerns and ideas about your competitive differentiation.
The Inside Guys: Whether we are supporting a product, service or even a critical issue, somebody in your company was responsible for its creation or the development of the company’s position. He or she has all the “inside baseball” information and will likely be our go-to source for in-depth explanations, technical details and the answers to questions we haven’t even thought of yet. He or she might also be a great source for trade interviews, but we need to know that person to help make that determination.
The Finance Guys: Whether you have a VP of Finance or CFO, that person’s perspective is always important to all of us. From a strategic position, I want to know his or her financial objectives and concerns. From a practical perspective, I want to know your company’s requirements for things like invoicing, expenses, etc.
Our Co-Marketers: If you are working with an ad agency or separate social media provider, our efforts need to be coordinated. We need to collaborate on everything from messaging to campaign timing.
The Sales Team: The members of your sales team – the folks in the field – are among our most important contacts. While you will direct our day-to-efforts, the sales team has information we can’t get elsewhere. They know what messaging resonates with your audiences, the advantages you have over your competitors and where you might sometimes come up short. They also are the first alert for pending deals and critical issues that might not get to your desk for some time.
In short, more is better. We’ve all committed to working as a team, and we can do that best by getting to know all the players.