THIS WEEK’S: BIG QUESTION - Should PR agencies use external think-tanks to generate ideas?

Beyond PR has set up a companyselling promotional ideas to agencies and in-house teams

Beyond PR has set up a companyselling promotional ideas to agencies

and in-house teams



’If my consultants want to use specialist think-tank firms, I have no

problem. It’s always good to get a fresh input from somebody who is able

to stand back. I, as client, will see their invoice and be able to

monitor how effective these extra ideas are. I would draw the line at my

agencies telling other firms about any new products. But much of what we

do is in the public domain and is registered with the Gaming Board.’


Reeves Green Public Relations

’PR agencies should maximise their creative potential. An external

think-tank could be useful, but only with long-standing clients where

the account handlers are so familiar with the client’s marketing

preferences that the freshest new look could come from an outside

source. A think-tank could also be useful when the work load does not

allow for the usual brainstorming session for pitches.’


Prudential Corporation

’I think they should be used in moderation. We are advised by the Red

Consultancy for consumer products and Brunswick for corporate work.

We have occasionally asked for specialist outside help, for instance for

a new name in product development. But you have to be careful that the

external specialist is not regurgitating the same old ideas to several

of their clients.’


David Clarke Associates

’I’d never close my mind to ideas generated by an external think-tank,

but I’d be worried if we couldn’t come up with great ideas to meet the

brief from our own resources. Anyone can come up with ideas - it’s

making them stick that’s the issue, plus making sure they meet the

objective. I’m not knocking the idea of an ’ideas factory’ but it’s not

my idea of dealing with the problem of ’no ideas.’’


Clarion Communications

’Your PR agency should be best placed to generate ideas for a client

that are relevant and generate the best results. The agency understands

the client’s products, marketplace, marketing strategy, company culture

and should have an in depth knowledge of the media. An external company

may produce concepts that are inappropriate or irrelevant.’

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