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January 30, 2024

5 Tips for Hiring a Boutique Communications Agency in South Florida

Public Relations
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When you want to find the best restaurant or the best event space or the best boutique hotel, what do you do? You ask someone who knows the area.The same goes for finding the right boutique communications agency to support your organization’s PR needs. You want to connect your business with an agency that understands the nuances of the local market and that can effectively communicate and position your brand within the market's unique context.

If you’re looking for a boutique communications agency in South Florida, we’ve put together a few tips to ensure you’re finding the best fit for your business goals.

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1. Find out how well they know your target audience.

PR firms can specialize in key areas or can cover a variety of different client types.In either case, you’ll want to ask the agency how they connect with your target audience and what results they’ve achieved in your space. For example, if your target audience is multicultural, you may want to connect with an agency that’s adept at cross-cultural communications. If you’re focused on selling to businesses, what’s their success rate in pitching local business journals, regional media, or trade associations? Don’t be shy about asking for results, case studies, or testimonials. A reputable boutique communications agency will be delighted to share details of the brilliantly successful campaigns they’ve executed.

2. Discover what they bring to the table.

Communications agencies’ scopes can also differ. Your choice of agency may depend on your goals and the market you’re trying to reach. As you interview communications agencies, get an understanding of the kinds of resources they have available and if those match up with your vision for your PR efforts. A restaurant, for example, may seek a boutique communications agency with a proven track record of securing local media coverage and working with influencers. An online retailer or a tech provider, on the other hand, may want to focus on building online credibility and thought leadership or on pitching to regional/national publications. Ask the agencies what types of resources they have available as part of their services – do they write and create content? Do they have great connections with key influencers? Do they plan or support events?

3. Decide what size firm you need.

PR firms come in all shapes and styles – and bigger isn’t always better. As you review different firms’ offerings, consider whether you’ll have a dedicated person working with you and what level of experience that person has. Larger agencies may provide a wider range of professionals to support you – someone to handle media, someone to do social engagement, etc. – while a smaller agency may combine those roles. However, at a smaller agency, you may also have the benefit of having more seasoned professionals supporting your team. Larger agencies often bring more junior team members in to do legwork on your projects, which may mean missing out on strategic, real-time guidance/feedback from experienced PR representatives.

4. Understand the process for working together.

As you choose an agency to work with, make sure their processes and values align with your own. You might ask yourself these questions:

  • How much information are you willing to share with them?
  • How much gatekeeping will your team do between the PR agency and your company’s executives?
  • Who will be the point person for the relationship on each of your team?
  • How open are you to strategic feedback and guidance from the agency partners?

If you have an existing internal PR team, you may also want to consider how the agency will integrate with your existing team members and how will work be divided. If you’re a startup or a South Florida solopreneur without an existing in-house team, how much of the workload will your agency take on and how much oversight/input do you expect to have in the development and approval of campaigns?

5. Define how you’ll measure results.

In the end, it all comes down to results. How will you and your agency determine whether you’ve been successful? Determine the metrics that matter most to you and communicate those clearly to your communications agency partners before you start working together. Your goals will shape the work they do. A reputable PR agency won’t guarantee sales numbers for you – PR is a top-of-the-sales-funnel activity – but they can give you a good idea of the other ways you can measure success in your relationship.

For example, if you want to increase awareness of your personal development coaching services, how do you define whether you’ve reached that target? Is it the number of eyes that you get on your content, the amount of engagement you earn on social media, the number of visits to your website, or the number of inquiries you receive regarding your services? South Florida’s business ecosystem continues to rapidly grow and develop, with 157 companies on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies list and many more businesses, both start-ups and well-established, invigorating the business scene.

If you’re one of these companies and looking for a boutique South Florida communications agency to tell your story, we’re ready to help you build an empowering PR strategy and to contribute to your success.

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