Time to hire a marketing or PR consultant? Here’s some questions you might like to consider before you do!

7 questions to ask before hiring a PR or marketing consultant

1. What do you know about my company, market, industry?

This tells you if they’ve done their homework. If they haven’t – run!

2. What campaigns have you done in a similar industry, similar company, etc?

You should ask for several examples. Listen for specifics, numbers, audience types, products. People who talk in general terms are usually not the folks you’ll want to work with. Having said that, just because someone hasn’t worked in your industry, that doesn’t mean they can’t bring something great to the table – for example there are some weird similarities between tourism and pharmaceuticals that I’m sure could be stretched to other industries too.

3. How long have you been doing this? And what did you do before that?

This will give you an idea of what they’re going to bring to your work. There’s no point in hiring a financial planner to build your website unless you’re building a financial planning website (and then you’ll want to meet the tech developer as well).

4. Have you managed consulting clients before?

Even if someone’s managed big campaigns working for a multinational – they’ve probably had agencies, juniors, admin folks sharing the load and a budget that didn’t matter if it went over a couple of hundred /thousand dollars. What you want is someone who can actually deliver on and produce the job they’ve waxed lyrical about (and manage your expectations and budget along the way).

5. Why do you keep doing this?

You’re looking to get an idea of their ongoing level of passion for what they’re doing.

6. What’s the best result you’ve had for a client so far?

Again look for specific results (see point 3).

7. Do you have references I can actually talk to? When did you work with them?

Make sure that the people you’re talking to worked with them in a similar situation to yours. There’s no point speaking to the CEO of BHP about a marketing job Joe Bloggs did for them – 5 years ago – marketing moves at a much too quick a pace for that sort of reference. If you’re interested in mine, you could start with some testimonials or check out the most recent ones on LinkedIn.

Kristin is a marketing & communication strategist who’s been doing the marketing do for almost 20 years. She can be found hanging out in social media land – for her clients’ benefit of course. You can follow her @glitteratichic or click on the LinkedIn icon on the right handside to connect there.

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