PR agencies can boost their income by 20 per cent by adopting best
practices in new business pitches, according to a new report.
The research, led by IPR fellow Colin Coulson-Thomas, reveals that
almost 60 per cent of agencies win fewer than half their pitches and
identifies a group of ’superbidders’ - just over six per cent - who win
over three-quarters of pitches.
Successful agencies are better at attracting invitations to pitch
because of their strength in three key areas, says the report. These are
the quality and experience of employees, the agency’s image and
reputation and its relationships with existing clients.
The research also highlights essential factors in success at pitch
Agencies that generate new ideas for the client, communicate the nature
of their expertise and provide references from other clients are more
likely to be successful.
Importantly, it also reveals that the average new business contract for
nearly half of those surveyed is under pounds 50,000.
The research is based on a survey of 82 agencies. It was undertaken by
Luton University’s National Centre for Competitiveness, where
Coulson-Thomas is a professor, and Policy Publications.
The report compared results from agencies that win over half their
pitches with those that win less than half, and conducted interviews to
discover the reasons why. The 120-page report features six independent
case studies, including PR agencies QBO and Marketforce.