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Four tips on finding the best PR firm in Austin


Sam Lauron
Four tips on finding the best PR firm in...

This article discusses our four top tips to help tech companies find the best PR firm in Austin. But before I do that I want to draw your attention to this: In 2019, Austin startups raised a record funding of $1.84 billion for the year. This impressive figure is hard to ignore as it further emphasizes the fact that Austin is ranked as the best city in the country for startups and entrepreneurs.

With countless startups flocking to Austin, and the overall number of startups launching across the country, both the competition and the business opportunities have never been greater. But a crowded market just means that getting the word out about your company is more important than ever. 

Public relations is a valuable way to reach more people and build your company’s credibility in the industry, whether you’re a B2B tech brand or a consumer-facing business. A great way to rapidly grow your credibility and reach is to utilize a PR firm that can get a massive amount of publicity about your company and innovations. 

Not every PR firm is necessarily a good fit for your business. Some specialize in industries other than tech, and others may be so cost prohibitive that finding an ROI for your PR investment is nearly impossible to imagine. To that end, here are the four tips that will help you find the best PR firm in Austin for your growth plans. 

Determine your goals 

Before you can even consider working with a PR agency, it’s important to determine what your objectives are in the first place. Are you a tech startup wanting to land media placements for your company’s upcoming launch? Or maybe you’re an established B2B company and you want to receive press to position your brand as a thought leader in the industry. Understanding what your overall goals are will inform the direction you take and ultimately help set up realistic expectations for both you and the agency you end up working with. 

General vs. niche

Just like your company operates within a certain industry, many PR firms typically have a specialty. While this isn’t always the case–there are some agencies that work with clients across a variety of industries–most firms will tailor their experience toward a specific space, whether that’s tech or lifestyle. Deciding which direction you want to go in will depend on the original goals you set. 

If you’re a B2B tech company in Austin, for example, then you will want to work with a PR agency that is highly agile and has deep experience and proven performance track records in a variety of B2B tech verticals. 

On the other hand, let’s say you are a CPG brand launching a new product. In this case, you will most likely want to work with a public relations firm that has ties to lifestyle and consumer media as well as connections to influencers. 

An easy way to figure out what type of experience a PR agency has is to look at the clients and they’ve worked with–these are usually listed on the agency’s website. Then, look up any applicable client case studies to see what types of media placements they’ve received if these aren’t also listed on the agency’s website. This is a key step if you hope to find the best PR firm in Austin to meet your particular branding needs.

Agency size 

The next factor to consider is the size of the PR firm. There are pros and cons to working with either a large or small agency. 

Larger corporate public relations companies typically operate numerous offices around the country, and even the world. As a client, this means there’s greater opportunity for wider reach if the teams collaborate with one another. Another pro to working with a larger firm is that the people you’ll work with typically have a breadth of experience. The downside, however, is that these bigger agencies work on a much larger scale, minimizing the chance for a more tailored and boutique approach for each client. The cost of working with larger agencies, especially for tech startups, is often difficult to justify relative to actual media placement results.

If you choose to work with a smaller agency, there will likely only be a couple of people working on your account, but fewer people is not necessarily a bad thing. Smaller agencies are better equipped to focus more attention and effort on each of their clients. The experience at a smaller PR firm isn’t lacking either. Public relations professionals who work at or operate a smaller agency often have backgrounds working on the corporate side and bring decades of experience with them. 

Digital marketing integration 

Years ago, PR was purely focused on media outreach and brand reputation. But in our increasingly digital world, many public relations professionals have shifted their approach and integrated digital marketing into their client’s communication plans. 

Working with one of the best PR firms in Austin means you will have a partner with a strong digital marketing background. It’s no longer enough to simply land a few media placements and call it a day. While earned media remains a crucial component to any marketing strategy, it now goes hand in hand with paid and owned media. By implementing a comprehensive strategy that includes all three, brands can ensure that they’re fully optimizing their reach and ultimately increasing the chance for more leads, sales, and brand awareness. 

About Sam Lauron: Sam is a freelance lifestyle writer and a copywriter at Swyft, which has been listed as one of the best PR firms in Austin and a top digital marketing agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft has satellite offices where it offers PR in San Francisco and Houston.