Do you hear that? It’s the unrelenting sound of a clock ticking down to 2018.
As you look toward the new year, it’s time to consult your creative strategy and examine if it’s time to expand your scope to encompass marketing and public relations initiatives. Experienced business owners know plateaus aren’t just for startups; they can stop the growth of established businesses as well. The reasons for a plateau could include new rules of digital marketing, the changing landscape of influencers and word-of-mouth marketing, or a growing need for measuring the momentum of campaigns. A marketing / PR agency can help with pushing to new levels of expansion and creative expression.
A good agency acts as a true extension of a company’s internal team and scouting for the right vendor is a hefty undertaking. Imagine searching for the needle in a haystack of 44,164 PR agencies. Luckily, not all companies are burdened with sorting through thousands of firms; 76% of marketing and industry leaders rely solely on word-of-mouth recommendations, which cuts the time it takes to research and choose. PR organizations such as PRSA and PR News offer directories to help narrow searches and can guide marketers to a short list of agencies fit for their needs.
Before moving forward with choosing an agency, it’s important to consider a criteria checklist, as it’s critical the selected agency can understand, adapt, and cater to a company’s vision with the right tools, team, and strategies.
- Know your goals and measurable objectives, and ensure your top-choice agency seems to recognize these as well.
- Decide on a budget and stay within it. You’ll need to make sure you clearly articulate your top-line budget, including base retainer, overages, expenses, and incidentals.
- Consider size. Bigger budgets can afford larger, well-known vendors but this doesn’t necessarily afford you more attention.
- Look at what your competitors are doing. Don’t compare but learn from what you find.
- Ensure you know who your team will be and that there’s chemistry with your internal team Know what’s promised upfront and that the deliverables support your marketing objectives.
What other criteria do you think businesses should look for when choosing an agency to accelerate upward and onward from the plateau? What questions would you like the answers to before partnering?