O’Connor co-founded Fuse PR in 1998 and then sold the company to US agency Racepoint in 2006. She recommends entrepreneurs find a PR consultancy that understands their market and business.
“An agency has to have very good credentials in your area of expertise so that they understand the nuances of your market," O’Connor says. "They’re not going to be able to do a great job of positioning you, finding the opportunities and dealing with journalists in a professional, authentic way if they really don’t know your market.”
O’Connor also advises checking your potential PR partner’s contacts, references and case studies but says no matter how great their credentials are, it’s important that they’re a good fit with your business. “If you can bring that PR consultancy into your business and make them an extension of your team, the relationship is going to work better than if you have a consultancy that you don’t engage with."
Of course, you can do your own PR but O’Connor warns that it’s often a "question of priority and capacity". She adds: “If you want to do a big programme over the year, you’re going to need a bit of support.”