When you’re hiring a PR agency partner to launch your startup, does chemistry matter? Or is your PR agency just another one of your many marketing vendors (SEO, web design, sales/marketing systems, etc.)? And if you believe chemistry matters, how much do you weigh it in your selection process vs. criteria such as domain expertise and the quantity of press coverage they’ve produced?
We think chemistry matters a lot. Why? Because you’re going to need your PR partner to “get” you, and your story, in order to be able to represent you to those overworked bloggers and journalists you’ve targeted. You’re going to need them to sit at The Big Table with you and come up with the best way to tell your story. You’re counting on your PR agency to not only help you craft your words, but to critique you in the early stages; calling you on your BS and jargon, and bringing as much passion to their role as you bring to the company you’ve founded.
In his book “Blink”, author Malcolm Gladwell talks about the power of “rapid cognition” that enables you to make a split second decision about a person or a situation. It’s that intuitive sense that you often get about the fit of a job applicant. When you’re considering a PR agency, we recommend you listen to that little voice and let your intuition help you choose. A PR agency is as important as a critical senior hire. You want them on your team. You want to pay them for their results and passion, and you want to count on them for their counsel and judgment.