Now, size isn’t everything, in fact with a smaller account team you’ll be able to develop a much closer relationship with mutual understanding. The agency will get to know how you like to work best, and vice versa. That’s why the people who turn up when we pitch are the people you will be spending most of your time with! Find out more about our people here.
3. What is your speciality?
The purpose of this question is to establish the relevant experience of the PR agency to your specific industry or requirements.
How connected are they? You want to be certain that when you hire the agency they already have established relationships with the key journalists and editors in your specific sector. If they do, it means they clearly have experience of working with them, and know what specific content publications will and won’t accept. They will have intimate knowledge of the journalists likes and dislikes, and will be able to successfully pitch story ideas first time, every time.
Ultimately, the more specialised and experienced the agency is in your sector, the more successful they will be in delivering phenomenal results for your brand.
4. What do you need to know about my business before you can get started?
Here’s the thing. Your PR agency aren’t telepathic. Yes, you can choose an agency with specialised knowledge in your industry, but remember they need to get to know you, your business and your people. So, ask them what they need to know to get started.
Firstly, you’ll need to sign a non-disclosure agreement so that you can confidently share your company secrets – perhaps new product releases, changes of senior management or a merger/acquisition. If you want your PR agency to be proactive, you need to give them as much information as you would any new employee. This will take time. So, be prepared to answer lots of questions, and be prepared to be challenged. Great PR agencies challenge the status quo.
The investment you make in PR is not just financial, it requires your time to brief the PR agency and engage in planning and strategy sessions so that they can hit the ground running and the relationship is successful from the outset. This is why we have a three pronged approach to marketing, starting with research and planning.
5. Where do we fall in your client roster?
Knowing where you stand in terms of agency spend and production requirements compared to other clients is critical.
Do you want to be the top dog and be their most important client? Perhaps you do, perhaps you don’t.
What’s critical to understand is how important you are to the agency. If you’re their smallest client, the reality is that you’ll probably get the most junior account team. Remember, you want to ensure that the PR agency has time for your business. So, think carefully about the type of agency you want to work with, and where your business will fall into their priority list.
Hopefully, before you’ve even started the agency selection process, you’ve checked out their website for their client roster, and you’ve researched what’s happening in the news with their clients so you have a good understanding of their capability already. We’ve made it super easy for you to find our client roster, check out our case studies here.
6. Who are your references?
The hiring process is like hiring an employee. You wouldn’t hire anyone without asking for references. So, ask for them and make the time to call or email those references. Also, ask for a reference of a client that no longer works with the PR agency. You need to find out why they don’t work together anymore. Remember, you want to choose an agency with a proven track record of success and many other satisfied past clients. Also ask the questions that are important to you.
7. How often will I hear from you?
This may sound like a daft question. It’s not. You need to understand how the PR agency manages client communication and collaboration.
The reason is you want 90% of your budget being spent on real work, not project management or administration. Not only that, as editorial placements can take months, you want to know what exactly your agency is working on.