Education and experience
One needs to at least undergo training or obtain a degree, preferably at master’s level in Public Relations, Business Administration, Media Studies or Marketing in order to be able to run a public relation agency.
Your educational background will give you the basic understanding of fundamental business processes. Additionally, you will also need specific experience in your field, for which you might want to consider working in another agency in the start.
Experience will teach you what books can't - how the industry moves in the real world and what you need to do in order to be successful.
Conduct market studies
Market study is important before you move ahead with your agency so that you know everything about your competitors. After research you need to come up with a plan, with a clear goals and objectives which can be measured.
Going ahead with something solely because you are passionate about it is the same as going into a fight unprepared.
Find out the market trends, how the established agencies work and what you can do to make a place for your brand.
Funds and resources
The next logical step is to arrange for the required funds and resources. Luckily, you can start off without a huge capital if you are experienced enough. However, having a physical presence will be essential if you want to draw in clients.
Similarly, you need to plan for the resources that you will need, including publishers, writers and contacts with media houses and agencies.
Planning all these details beforehand is crucial to the success of any business.
Set it up and promote it
Once your agency is off the ground you need to promote it. This doesn’t just mean that you advertise it everywhere however; you need to precisely target your audience. Find out the mediums they use, including TV channels, newspapers and magazines and try promoting your agency there.
You can also try online marketing and advertisement if your market research showed potential.
Since you are planning to run a public relations agency, it should come as no surprise that you need to build your own network, including professional and social connections.
Attend seminars, meetings and be active in the community. Your advice shouldn’t cost people, at least not in the start. Help them and they will remember you, and essentially your business.
General tips for starting a public relations agency
- Do not hire people until the need arises
- Get a moderate office space that suits the size of your agency
- Focus on helping others in the start
- Take every opportunity to make a connection with people