An agency search mirrors a job interview

According to an article in the Business Mirror, there are many factors to consider when selecting a PR firm.

According to an article in the Business Mirror, there are many factors to consider when selecting a PR firm.

When choosing an agency, PR practitioner Edd Fuentes told the Business Mirror, “Treat it like a job interview, and find out everything that you can about the potential PR firm/publicist, even going so far as talking to the latter's past clients to find out why they dropped the PR firm. Like it or not, the PR firm becomes an extension of your company and should be able to represent the best facets of the image and brand you project.”

It's important to do your research on the agencies you are considering. Make a list of criteria such as agency size, location, and areas of expertise. If you're a Boston-based company and enjoy face-time with your agency, a Boston agency makes the most sense. For European companies, having an East Coast-based agency is a great way to fill the time-zone gap.  

Once you've narrowed down your agency selection, pull together a list of questions. Some may include:

  1. How do you bill your clients?
  2. Will I work with a mixture of senior and junior staff?
  3. How do you typically report results to your clients?
  4. How many clients do you provide PR support for?
  5. Where do you see your agency in five years?

In order to get a meaningful proposal, you must first create a brief for the agencies that includes:

  1. Company background
  2. Products and services
  3. Customers
  4. Key competitors
  5. Company go-to marketing strategy
  6. Challenges
  7. PR objectives
  8. Budgets

By providing a detailed brief, you'll enable the agencies to respond with a well thought-out proposal which equals faster results and quicker exposure. 

Cheryl Gale is a managing partner at March Communications. 

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