What to Look for in an Agency
Choosing among service firms can be confusing. When evaluating PR agencies,
creativity can be an important criteria, but it is not the only key to
a successful relationship. Consider these questions in your agency selection
process to incresae the likelihood of your communications strategy improving
- Who really will be working on your project?
Senior folks at the pitch or junior staffers learning on your
dime? And what percentage of their time will be devoted to you...or
to another, perhaps larger account?
- Is their experience current, relevant or is it outdated?
- What is the chemistry like on the team? Between you and the agency?
Can you envision comfortably working with the team you've been assigned?
- Does the agency look at you as a partner or as a prospect? In other
words, are its people interested in what services are most important
to achieving your goals or in the agency's bottom-line by trying
to sell you on services you don't need?
- Do they listen well to your objectives and directions? Can they document
how they've gained measurable success for other businesses like yours?
- Are they responsive and accessible or don't get back to you
(or the media) because they're always in agency meetings (or worse,
busy working for other clients)? Are you a priority for them?
- Are they passionate about your business? (Or only for those with big
budgets?) What is their client philosophy?
- Are they passionate about PR? How well do they know the media? When
did the senior members last talk to the media?
- Are their plans dusted-off from another client or developed
specifically for your business, objectives, etc?
- Do they suggest ways to be more effective without increasing
the budget? Do you see them adding value to what you already have on