Three years. It is the average duration of the current relationship between clients and agencies. The average is less than half of what it was 20 years ago and is still declining.
Clients choose to leave a PR agency for a variety of reasons, many of which can be completely avoided if you start looking for agencies as soon as possible.
After running a PR and marketing agency for the past 15 years, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t in building an agency-client relationship. Regardless of the type of customer, success always starts with a strong partnership based on cultural fit, role clarity, and strategic alignment on goals and measurement of success.
1. In which sectors did you specialize?
A successful agency should have good storytelling skills and strong relationships with the right journalists, but it’s also beneficial to you when an agency is aware of industry trends that influence or influence your business.
If an agency is a direct participant and an innovative leadership engine in your area of interest, make sure the agency understands your business and can provide access and insights. This deep business experience means they are aware of the trends affecting the media in their space, so they can immerse you in the stories and help you make decisions based on market intelligence.
2. Amazing. Your business experience fits in, but how can you help my business?
We have a saying in our office: know your customers, wherever they are. This is crucial to success.
There’s a big difference between working for a Fortune 100 tech company with a steady stream of news and expert spokespersons, and a smaller company with innovative technology but little brand awareness. The first deals with strategic planning of news releases, crisis management, and the best use of each campaign. The other is to create a story with unknown spokespeople and figure out how to inject it into a partner who doesn’t exist yet.
3. Do you understand PR and marketing?
The dividing line between marketing and PR is still blurred. Find an agency that understands and embraces this evolution, offering additional insights and values beyond traditional media and public relations tactics.
We started as a liaison officer but added a content marketing team when we saw that our client’s goals would work better than a combination of these tactics combined. Clients no longer need to hire agencies to get the job done. Traditional or social media relationships aren’t always the answer alone; Sometimes blocked content that targets some potential customers trapped in your funnel can have a bigger impact.
If you understand public relations and agency marketing, you’ll know you’re using the right tactics to get the best results for your business.
4. How do you measure success?
The public relations industry is known for the challenges it faces in measuring its success. Find an agency that can clearly define how to link your program results to your company’s goals.
Is the analysis and analysis your agency will provide meaningful and understandable to your company’s managers and decision-makers? The measurements and data reported by your agency should be based on the goals and results you hope to achieve.
Relationships between agencies need to be more directly linked to business objectives. For example, an agency might demonstrate that it can report the proportion of media votes over the client’s competitors, the SEO impact of acquired media, and so on.
5. Who is on my team and how much business do you have?
Agencies have rightly earned a reputation for bait and casts. Agencies impress potential clients with informative insights and analysis presented by senior executives, but after winning the company, the work is handed over to a junior team. That’s how agencies win: work cheaper, push less-experienced workers, increase profitability.
Also, ask about turnover. Agencies are known to have a high turnover of around 30%, and the impact on your PR success can be significant. Consider independent agencies with a solid track record of retaining customers and employees.
There is one more consideration:
Asking the right questions will get you on the right track, but you also need to know the right answers for your business.
Thinking about your strategic goals and giving a clear picture of how your team can manage, support, and collaborate with an agency is the key to evaluating and interviewing a new agency and ultimately building a strong agency partnership that delivers to you and the company the best chance of success.