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Want to Get the Most Out of Your PR Pro? Follow These 5 Tips. Bringing on an outside PR firm can be costly and if not done correctly, can be a big waste of money. Follow these suggestions to make sure you get the most out of your PR firm.

By Leta Soza

This story originally appeared on AirPR

So, you've submitted your project, vetted the candidates and found the perfect PR pro to help make all your dreams come true.

Now what?

To ensure you have the best experience possible and extract the most value from your newly minted partnership, here are five tips for optimizing your outsourced PR.

1. Develop a clear and detailed strategy. In a typical scenario, it can take two months to begin to see press coverage. This means the first 30 days are reserved for strategy, message development, positioning, media research and targeting. To help get the most out of this time, set your PR pro up for success by giving them access to the product. Have them test it, and allow them to give you feedback specifically from a product standpoint.

Related: Managing and Organizing an Effective PR Strategy on a Budget

2. Ask for a weekly or every other week status call. Even if you don't have anything to talk about, regular check-ins are a great opportunity to touch base, voice concerns and ensure everyone is on the same page. Also your PR pro is probably a pretty cool individual, so why not take the time to get to know them a little?

3. Set expectations for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly status updates and reports (via email). Regularly updated documentation will keep you informed as to what outreach is being done and where your PR pro is currently focused. It also helps everyone stay on track or can identify potential gaps in your strategy. Sometimes monthly is enough, but if you want to see progress weekly, your PR pro should be able to show you the goods.

4. Provide your PR pro what they need in terms of content, feedback and access. Without you, your PR pro may find themselves working with limited resources thereby undermining your potential success. Arm them with what they need to work their magic. This means data to help round out stories, access to the C-suite for media opportunities and interviews, and the list goes on and on. Help them help you. Period.

Related: The Very First PR Step a Startup Needs to Take

5. Be responsive. Do respond to your PR pro within 24 to 48 hours if they have certain requests that enable them to do the work you are paying them to do. Whatever you do, don't go dark. This is a lose-lose situation, and honestly it's just plain unprofessional.

Conversely, if your PR pro takes more that 24 to 48 hours to respond, that's a problem. You should feel free to let us know if there are gaps in communication. Your PR pro's primary function is to push things through the funnel, and if they're not doing that, it could be cause for a larger concern.

Related: How to Build Your Own Brand Buzz

Leta Soza

PR Engineer at AirPR

Leta Soza is a PR Engineer at AirPR where she specializes in PR strategy, content marketing, owned content production and analytics. Soza holds BA in Marketing and a BS in Psychology from Loyola University of Chicago.

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