Let’s suppose that I am the Marketing Director of a medium to large organisation and I’m looking for a PR consultancy. What are the major boxes I’m looking to tick?

I often mentally place myself in the position of the other person to help understand what they are looking for and as a result try and come up with the answers. In the past I have often done it when I am planning to pitch a story to a journalist, by imagining what the scribe would be looking for.

Choosing the right PR agency

OK, so in my Marketing Director role, I am considering the consultancy alternatives, which could be a major multi-national, a specialist in my industry or a smaller PR agency. I am assuming that each of the three agencies is well-qualified, the practitioners are Members of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and the agency is a Member of the Registered Consultants Group.

The advantages of the multi-national are that they are large with considerable international resources and support, but the downside is that I could be a minor account, their fees could be higher and there is potential for staff turnover on my account.

The specialist could be restricted in their thinking and not able to objectively get outside the square and also face the problem of account conflict. They may also be short of expertise in such areas as social media and issues management.

I have had the fantasy of being a client and going to a smaller PR agency and asking the question: ‘Who’s your largest client and what do they pay?, and then say ‘I’ll pay double that fee and I always want to be your largest client, so let me know if the situation changes’

That leads me to the smaller PR agency and we presume they tick all the boxes in terms of experience, expertise and stability. The main advantage is that they can bring over the other two alternatives, enthusiasm and commitment. After all if you are the largest client they handle you should receive care and attention above the norm.

Have I made a convincing case? If you agree, or disagree, extend the discussion with a comment?

-Dennis Rutzou