Choose a PR agency

  1. Be realistic. Don’t be wowed by the agency which comes up with the most interesting or unusual ideas.  Wacky ideas can sound impressive in a pitch, but they can also be highly unworkable.  Ask them for a media plan to hit the ground running and look for an agency who is realistic, honest and up-front about the job they can do for you.
  2. Horses for courses: Find out who will be actually working on your account. You may be meeting the slick presenters at the pitch but then be passed over to the newest recruit straight out of college to cut their teeth on your account.
  3. Proactive not reactive: Find out how proactive they are in creating news. Your PR agency shouldn’t just sit back and wait for you to give them story leads.  They should be using a combination of imaginative thinking and hard graft to unearth opportunities for you.
  4. Short-stay: Ask them how long their clients stay with them on average. This should give you a good measure of their levels of commitment.
  5. Skin deep: Find out how much of a priority your business will be to them. If your account manger is spread too thinly working on 12 different accounts at once, how can they ever hope to really get under the skin of your business and understand your market?
  6. Take aim: Look for a B2B marketing agency which will agree to setting campaign objectives together, not one who makes up their own objectives for your PR programme and then congratulate themselves for achieving them. PR is cost effective but it’s still an expense. Everybody deserves to know what return they’re getting on their investment.  You should be getting regular updates on results.
  7. The whole truth: Check what’s included in the monthly fee so you can avoid being hit with a long list of ‘extras’ they omitted to mention at the pitch.
  8. Eats, shoots and leaves: Yes we know social media speak has taken over but there’s still no excuse for sloppiness.  If emails and proposals from the agency have grammatical errors and typos, chances are all the subsequent work will be too.
  9. Ask to speak to current clients: they should be the agency’s best advocates and if they’re not, you need to know why!

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