Part 1: How to work with a PR agency

Posted on: January 27th, 2009

Now you have gone through the selection process and picked your agency, you need to figure out how to work together to ensure the best results for you and your brand.  Think of your agency as your best friend to get the best you can out of the relationship.

Here is the first set of tips to get you started:

Setting up the account

  • The first step is to review the proposal that the agency submitted to win the account. This document will need to be adjusted to reflect what you really need for the campaign and have the budget for. The agency will then put this into a PR plan which can run from anything from three months for a project to a year or ongoing with a three month notice period.
  • Make sure the PR plan contains clear deliverables that you can measure the agency’s work against along the course of the contract. These can be anything from press coverage to increased traffic to a website or attendees at an event. The holy grail is if you can also work out a measurement technique for the impact PR has on business and sales progress.This could be through monitoring sales enquiries, spikes around sales following PR activity such as editorial or events or by building PR related questions in to your brand tracking to measure awareness.Once you are happy with the plan then approve it and let the work begin!
  • Make sure that you give your agency all the background material that you have so that they are aware of every aspect of your business such as marketing collateral, internal newsletters, staff information etc. It is important to be as transparent as possible therefore your agency should be aware of any skeletons in the closet so that they can be prepared in case someone else digs them out!

Relationship management

  • Once you have appointed your PR agency, you need to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from the relationship. To do this you need to really ensure that you understand each other from the very beginning and are clear about each other’s expectations.
  • Trust your agency and don’t keep unnecessary secrets from them as this will only hinder the quality of their advice.
  • Keep you agency updated on any changes to your brand, the company structure, staff changes etc.
  • Involve the agency at an early stage in any activities that will require their support. Don’t just throw things at them at the last minute and expect quick results!


Anything to add? Please post a comment below.

Watch this space for part 2 of How to work with a PR agency.

Posted by Helen Lear.

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