How to Hire the Right PR Agency for Your Beauty or Fashion Brand

three people at a conference table hire pr agency beauty brand


When you hire a PR agency for your beauty or fashion brand, it’s a big decision. There’s a lot at stake, and it’s often a big expense. You don’t want to make the “wrong” choice, which can set the brand back.

A common reason I hear from brands as to why they left their former PR agency?

“They just didn’t get us.”

Beauty and fashion brands frequently come to our agency VLIV Communications looking for PR support, but often are a bit nervous after what they consider a prior bad experience.

When digging deeper with these brands, what I often find out is that their PR team didn’t have a clear grasp on the brand’s goals or messaging. In certain cases would follow a cookie-cutter approach that didn’t take in account the brand’s unique differentiating points.

This post isn’t to disparage other agencies (there are SO many talented ones that I’ve worked with and greatly admire), but to remind brands to do their due diligence before hiring an agency.

What should brands look for when engaging external PR support for greatest success?

three people at a conference table hire pr agency beauty brand

How to Hire the Right PR Agency for Your Beauty or Fashion Brand

Does the PR agency you want to hire have experience working in your niche or field?

If you work at a beauty or fashion brand, the PR agency you hire should have deep expertise in this realm. Hire a PR agency who specializes in this – not a generalist agency. Ask for case studies and recent placements from similar brands. You’ll want the PR agency you work with to have the ability to easily strategize for your brand.

Do they seem genuinely excited about your brand and its POV?

This is crucial! The PR agency you hire should truly care about your brand and its mission. They should see the potential of how it can gain traction in the media. A PR agency can’t do their best work if they don’t love the brands that they rep.

Who will be your primary point of contact on the account at the beauty PR agency you’re considering to hire?

Have you met the primary point of contact prior to signing a contract? Some beauty and fashion PR agencies will have one person you’ll speak through the hiring process, and then will have someone else actually do the account work. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with this approach – but you’ll want to meet your point of contact prior to working with them. If this is the person you’ll be speaking to on a daily basis and will represent your brand to the media, you should feel comfortable with them.

How does the agency approach working with clients, and what is their process like?

Don’t expect them to give away a full strategy, but ask about their general framework with new accounts. You can view VLIV’s framework here. A PR agency should be able to easily provide you with immediate next steps on getting started. They should also let you know an overview of how they’ll approach your account for the next six to twelve months.

How will success be measured? (Note: both the client and agency should agree on this!)

We often hear that it’s challenging to quantitatively measure PR success – and this can be true. That said, it’s important to understand whether a PR campaign is working. We recommend an array of measurement tools – numbers of placements, amount of impressions, increased share of voice, etc. There’s other ways as well – increased website traffic, higher social media following, and more inquiries from retailers. The agency and brand should align on this before beginning work.