How to Find A Reputable PR Agency In 5 Steps 

Not every PR agency is suitable for start-ups and founders. So how do you find the right PR agency? 

Step 1: Define goals, the scope of work, and budget 

What do you need a PR agency for? What exactly should it do? How can you achieve your communication goals in the short and long term through a PR agency? How much budget do you have available? 

Questions like these, which determine goals, the scope of work, and budget, should first be clarified internally before you start looking for a PR agency. On the one hand, you can determine whether a PR agency is profitable for you at all.  

If you have many points and recurring things in corporate communications on the agenda, it might also be worthwhile to recruit your employee for your company. If it is more about a few, smaller or one-off tasks, it could be worthwhile to work with a freelance PR consultant. So first, check whether a PR agency is what you are looking for. 

Step 2: Get an overview 

There are many PR agencies. It is not easy to get an overview, especially in larger cities such as Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, or Cologne. When researching, you should consider the following aspects in particular: 

  • How important is it that the PR agency is based in my city? 
  • How important is it that the PR agency specializes in my industry? 
  • How important is it that the PR agency is an expert with a view to the measure (e.g., press work)? 

If in doubt, prioritize which aspect is predominant. Is a PR agency in Berlin specializing in crisis communication for start-ups more helpful than a general PR agency in your city? Probably yes, if you are facing a business crisis.  

Are you just beginning and need a comprehensive approach from the concept to the measures, where it is essential to brainstorm together from time to time?  

The aspect of local residency will probably predominate – because travel costs should also be taken into account in the budget planning mentioned in step 1. So, put together a rough selection (max. 5-10) of the agencies that could even be considered for you. 

Step 3: Read references, case studies, and reviews 

Find out now which cases/projects/companies the respective PR agency has already handled and make a note of which PR agency has an exceptionally high number of overlaps with your project or which suits you best. Do not be blinded by awards or certificates, but question them. Awards are usually hard-earned, but in the end, they are not necessarily decisive for the creativity and performance of the company. 

Step 4: Get in touch with the agencies 

Call a PR agency for a PR agency and ask in general whether the projects you have proposed would be exciting for the respective PR agency.  

After all, they are usually always on the lookout for new customers but must also have the corresponding capacities free at the given time. 

The first impression counts. At this point, one or the other PR agency is sure to be crossed off your list. With the remaining agencies, you should go straight to step 5. 

Step 5: get to know the PR agency 

Arrange a meeting. After all, you will also exchange internal information with your PR agency, and the interpersonal component must be right on a trustworthy topic.  

A visit to the agency, where you get to know the employees and get an insight into the work culture, can be beneficial if you aim for long-term cooperation.