The Right Agency will be six years old in May this year. There have been challenges along the way, but we are fortunate to have built up a stable business that allows us to be selective about the clients we work with and the briefs we respond to.

Of course, that wasn’t always the case. In the early days of any business you grab every opportunity you can. The same was true of ours, as a result, in those early days we responded to some briefs that have wasted our time, made us laugh aloud (and not in a good way) and even some that have resulted in the blatant pilfering of our ideas.

Today, the quality of the briefs we receive is generally much higher, but we thought it would be an idea to share our tongue-in-cheek tips for briefing PR agencies.

Top Five Tips

  1. If you’re shortlisting agencies, make sure that it is a short list: Nothing says time waster like an email from a company who announces you are one of twenty agencies they are interested in hearing from.
  2. Set clear and reasonable objectives: Ask yourself why you need PR. If you’re vague, the responses you get back will be vague and evaluating work further down the line will be virtually impossible. Clear objectives will help the PR agency to deliver a targeted campaign that really delivers results for your business.
  3. Make sure everybody is on board: Your appointed PR agency should be judged on how well they deliver against their objectives. They shouldn’t also be responsible for convincing your MD – who ‘doesn’t rate PR’ – that PR is worth doing. The best client/agency relationships are collaborative and supportive.
  4. Be realistic: Every business needs to set itself challenging goals in order to grow. We get it, we are a business too. However, if you want the PR strategy to transform your £500k turnover business into a £15m blue chip in 12 months, it might be time to reset your expectations.
  5. Be clear on budget: We regularly receive briefs which refuse to name the budget. Some clients think this helps an agency be more creative and unencumbered in their thinking. Perhaps if you’ve got the budget of say, Apple, that’s true. However, if that’s not the case and you do have a finite amount of money you can spend, please tell your agency. Agencies across the UK deliver hugely creative low budget campaigns all the time, but it is soul destroying to spend time costing up something all singing and dancing only to be told the real budget is a fraction of that.