THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Are agency rosters effective when structuring external comms?

BT is considering cutting its roster by one-third in a bid to increase efficiency

BT is considering cutting its roster by one-third in a bid to

increase efficiency

Esther Kaposi


’I can understand the rationale behind large organisations employing a

number of agencies but wonder why they need to be retained on a

continual basis. It can work in principle if you have a roster of

agencies you know and maintain a dialogue with, but it can be an

administrative nightmare.

If a company is too bureaucratic it can lose sight of what it is doing

There is a need to make clear which agencies do what.’

Paul Skeldon

Computer Telephony magazine

’Rosters mean journalists get bombarded with duplicate press releases

and, when we want information about a particular facet of a company’s

activity, it makes a difficult job ten times harder, as it is impossible

to remember which PR agency deals with which part of the company. I

usually call a company’s own press office and let them track down the

right person. It wastes their time, not ours.’

Christine Arthur

Key Communications

’Rosters enable companies to effectively manage their agencies - there’s

nothing like a little competition to keep an agency on its toes.

It maximises creativity and results. It is only through actively working

with an agency that you can see its true worth - far better than

selecting via a time-consuming ’beauty parade’. What is important,

though, is keeping the list to a manageable number while allowing for a

range of different sized agencies that provide contrasting approaches

and specialist expertise.’

Bernard Hughes


’If a roster means a closed list, then I do not agree with it. I believe

it is important to give new and innovative entrants into the market an

opportunity. The key issue is to be able to bring in the resources you

want, so it is important not to close off new opportunities. The key is

not to have overlap but to have focused tasks so that agencies clearly

know their role.’

Liz Shanahan

Sante Communications

’By having a number of agencies on a roster you can gain different

perspectives. If you only use one agency, that can be limited. But in

the pharmaceuticals industry, there are a lot of complex issues which

need time to be understood, and if you spread them too thinly, then both

agency or client may suffer.’

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