Six questions for your new marketing and PR consultant

April 3, 2019




With the growth of digital technologies and their role in marketing and public relations emerging consultants are spruiking their services on every virtual street corner.

There’s no doubt that in a market oversaturated with carbon copies of products and services that savvy marketing can secure your business a greater customer share.

But beware – just as you research before booking your next cruise, buying your new home or car or even buying the new smart phone so should you take as much care before hiring a PR and marketing consultant.

What are the six areas you should consider BEFORE you hire that new consultant?

Are they qualified in their fields?

Check to ensure your consultant holds at least a degree in marketing, journalism or communication.

Are they experienced in their fields?

Confirm where have these consultants built their portfolio of skills and relevant experience. Government, agency and business enterprise experience is critical. A simple Google search will reveal their digital footprint. Any communication consultant worth their salt will have demonstrated evidence of their experience in the public realm.

How do they deliver their own marketing and growth activities?

Review the prospective consultant’s website, social media pages and other activities. Look at how they engage and communicate with their networks. Ask to see evidence and a portfolio of their work.

Has the consultant ever managed issues or crises for previous clients or employers?

Building solutions under duress that manage risk and capitalise on opportunities are critical. Find out how the consultant has managed extreme situations and the outcomes.

Are they focused on tactics or strategies?

Understanding the goals, business model and competitive edge of a business is critical to providing value to a client. Ask the consultant about their approach to building a strategy to position your products and services. Ask how they determine which tools to use and why.

How do they deliver PR campaigns?

Writing for news value requires a particular skills set – and advanced understanding of media requirements across different platforms. Find out how the consultant develops a news opportunity and what actions they take when the media fails to bite. We are all potential newsmakers now and there are many avenues and solutions in the event a journalist doesn’t want to play ball!

Qualified and experienced marketing and PR professionals are just like you – they are experts in their fields. They’ve spent years studying and honing their craft and they understand that the tools are – to a large extent – irrelevant. The key is the strategy and the tactics. The tools  – just as pen and paper – will change and evolve and can be simply replaced.

There’s a litany of disasters to where small business owners and their administration officers have not thought strategically about how their social media marketing tools can backfire:

Such public stoushes can drag a small business reputation – and the relationships it values – into the gutter.

Even the most basic of public relations, general marketing and social media marketing activities can backfire – losing customer engagement, interest and loyalty.

Investing in marketing and PR consulting services is an important investment in your business stability and growth. A consultant who meets each of these criterion will offer a strong return on your investment.

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