There are a number of reasons you might choose to partner another business or organisation on a PR campaign. They may have access to data or information that you don’t, you might wish to tap into their audience, or perhaps you have the ideas but they have the marketing manpower to make them happen.
As my not so snappy title indicates though, for all the benefits of working with another company, it can just as easily go wrong if you don’t find the right match.
To avoid feeling like you’re both blindly operating different ends of a pantomime horse, here are five things to consider before taking the leap.
Do your businesses complement each other?
If both parties are looking to get coverage, then you need to give journalists a reason why they need to cover you both. Ensure you’re both bringing value to the project and offering something different.
The collaboration has to make sense to the outside world. Whilst you don’t want to be too similar, there needs to be a link. An estate agent and a mortgage lender for example are connected by property and their target audience but both bring different and valuable perspectives.
Do your values align?
Who you choose to associate with reflects on you, so do your background research. If your business prides itself on its eco-friendly vision, but you collaborate with a company that gets hauled through the press for its excessive carbon emissions, it damages your reputation too. Ask the right questions and do your due diligence by checking not only what they say about themselves, but what others say about them.
Are they too big or too small?
Not to get all Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but if you’re a small family-owned business and you’re contacting huge global firms, there’s a good chance your email will remain unopened in someone’s inbox. That’s not to say you can’t punch above your weight and attempt to work with a bigger organisation, but if you are looking to benefit from the authority of someone else’s name, be prepared to do more of the legwork when it comes to the campaign.
Check your working habits are compatible
It may not be a long-term venture, but it can definitely slow the project down or cause friction if one party is used to being agile and acting quick on new opportunities, and the other has lengthy sign-off processes. If you don’t think you’d work well with the latter, it’s best to avoid larger organisations or those in tightly regulated industries.
You should be able to at least get an indication of a company’s working habits and processes from early conversations however. If calls get frequently cancelled or it takes a long time to commit to ideas, think carefully before proceeding.
Do your expectations match?
For you both to get what you want out of the campaign, you need to be clear on what this means for both of you. What does success look like? Where would you like to have coverage and what kind of message do you want to portray?
Make sure you’re clear on where responsibilities lie and that you’re presenting a united front to the media.
And of course, If all that sounds like too much hassle, let a PR agency take care of it for you ;)