We got tired of an industry that kept taking advantage of entrepreneurs and small business owners. So we unapologetically changed the system in your favor.
A great PR agency will research who your customer is and what media they are consuming.
Many agencies will brag about the number of relationships they have, but the results they can provide is most important.
A PR agency with a diverse range of contacts is key.
Public relations or PR is the practice of intentionally managing the release and spread of information. PR not only protects an organization from negative news, it helps spread positive news and aims to improve the general view of the organization.
A common way to summarize public relations is to say that it's a way to control the narrative of a company or individual.
Public Relations Agencies help companies improve, repair, or grow their brand image. This is normally done through building relationships with journalists and members of the media, managing social media, releasing press releases, and finding partnerships.
While PR may sound a lot like marketing, there are a few key differences. One of those differences is that marketing is trying to target a specific audience, while public relations is trying to reach as many people as possible.
Public Relations Agencies can range from a few thousand dollars a month to over $100,000/month. When working with public relations agencies, you're really paying for the connections and contacts that agency has.
Therefore, if you want to be feature article in the New York Times, you're going to pay much more than getting a feature in a local magazine.
How much you should pay is dependent on your goals. Are you repairing your companies reputation? Are you just looking to attract more investors? Do you think that being in a magazine feature will help you get more customers? All of these questions will factor into how much you should spend.
Determining your return on investment for PR campaigns can be difficult, so it's important to know exactly what your goal is before starting. Unless you secure a podcast with millions of listeners or article with millions of readers, you most likely own't see an immediate spike in customers.
Public Relations can be a long term strategy of slowly building notoriety in the space or a quick fix for negative press. Whatever your strategy, knowing what your end goal is will help determine your budget.
When looking at agencies, we recommend verifying that you will own the website after completion and that their pricing model makes sense (Our rule of thumb is that if a pricing model isn't easy to understand - it's that way on purpose.)
You should also consider timelines, pricing, whether you'll get a dedicated point of contact, and look at their portfolio of work.
The agencies below we have personally vetted to be transparent, ethical, and accessible. So you'll just need to determine your budget and timeline!
When building a website, use attractive designs that are eye-catching and look modern. Design is ever changing - but as long as your website is attractive, you'll be able to use it for years.
Not only does your website need to look great, it should be optimized for search engines. Working with a professional that knows how to structure a website and write incredible copy can mean the difference between a successful website and a website that no one ever sees.
Sure, you can have a really cool looking website, but if your customers can't access it on mobile or find the information they're looking for, it'll fall flat. Voice search is more popular than ever so you'll want to be found when people say, "Okay Google - what...."
If there's a web design platform out there, there is a developer for it. WordPress has been around the longest and most agencies have experience with it. Some agencies focus on design and not building your website, but those are now few and far between. You should consider that WordPress usually requires technical knowledge to make significant updates, while drag and drop builders can be easily updated and managed yourself.
Yes, absolutely. If you have the time, you'll end up saving thousands. Sites like Wix, Squarespace, and Webflow allow you to build your website using themes and drag and drop builders for a small monthly fee. WordPress is technically free, though you will probably have to shell out $10-$25/month for hosting.
However, if you're not confident, we recommend working with a professional.
You don't get to be featured on Small Business Mentor if you settle for mediocre. All of the agencies featured on our site have incredible results with case studies and reviews to support them. Whether it's incredible design or getting their customers a massive return on investment, success is the number one goal. They put in the extra effort to make sure you're successful, and they don't stop until the job is done. If the results don't blow us away, or they settle for "good enough," they don't make the cut.
Contracts shouldn't be 40 pages long with a bunch of fine print. Agencies should give friendly and clear reminders about upcoming renewals, deadlines, and results. If the agency messed up, they should make it right. Your ad budget shouldn't be increased just because the agency wants to make more money off of you, and they should audit their work regularly. We believe you shouldn't have to watch over an agency's shoulder to make sure they aren't ripping you off.
You should be able to ask for specific pricing for each service that is being given. Retainers are okay if they can specify how many hours they spent on each of the services they delivered to you. That way, you and the agency can make data-driven decisions on how to spend your hard-earned money. Any agency that can't give you specific pricing or help you calculate an accurate return on investment isn't looking out for your best interests.
Any business owner knows that the customer isn't always right. However, if you need help with something small and the agency starts referencing the contract you signed, we don't think that's fair. Even better, if the agency is proactive and you don't even have to ask, they get a gold star. The agency should be there to help and support you (within reason) to help you accomplish your goals. Additionally, the agency should include all services needed to perform the job well in the original contract. If they knew they were running your advertising, didn't include landing page design in your contract, and then blamed poor results on not having landing pages - they aren't looking out for you.