5 key components to use for your next PR firm RFP
Guest post provided by Robert Udowitz, a principal at RFP Associates, a public relations agency search firm. When someone asks what the most critical component is when hiring a...
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Guest post provided by Robert Udowitz, a principal at RFP Associates, a public relations agency search firm.
When someone asks what the most critical component is when hiring a public relations firm I often respond: “time.”
Time is easily the most underappreciated element required for working with a PR agency. It begins with the time that should be devoted to identify and hire the most qualified agency, and then it continues through to the weekly time needed to provide the materials required for them to do their job (i.e. get you results).
But finding the best-fitting firm is the linchpin to success. Beware of automatically jumping to hire the agency your friend you used; don’t go through the PR trades and engage the firm you think can do the job based on an ad or directory listing; and, never simply use Google as your guide for selecting public relations services as there are plenty of ways to game that system.
Bottom-line: finding the right PR firm should involve a serious commitment of company resources, which includes time and money. Not unlike hiring an executive to your C-suite, you should spend as much time as necessary to properly screen and check references, arrange face-to-face meetings, etc.
The best method for assessing PR agencies for their skills and expertise is the request for proposal, or RFP. When written well, the most capable firm will provide you with a response that will demonstrate their skills to you and will be the start of a productive relationship.
Here are the best ways to structure your RFP:
Once you’ve selected your agency, the partnership begins. Please provide them with information and access they need to succeed. This should start early and should be continuous. Also, make sure to create a method where they report to you frequently, so problems don’t evolve.
The more time you spend on a quality RFP is a worthy investment as it will greatly improve your chances of finding a capable PR agency to help accomplish your strategic branding objectives.
PR over Coffee is a popular PR blog for DIY entrepreneurs and PR pros alike. If you have a suggestion for future topics or would like to submit a guest post for consideration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. PR Over Coffee is a wholly owned subsidiary of Swyft, a PR and digital marketing agency with Austin roots that serves B2B tech companies all over the world.