So, you are ready to engage the services of a marketing or PR firm.
At this point, you have shortlisted a few firms, perhaps from previous engagements, referrals or from scouring your LinkedIn connections. Now, it’s time to narrow down the list of candidates and decide on the one that you feel is the best fit for your business or organization.
Whatever your criteria – domain expertise, skill-set, account team, availability, scale, references, etc. –selecting an agency can be stressful. Even if the one you selected checks all the boxes on your matrix, a key attribute that is often overlooked or under appreciated is the chemistry of the agency’s team, and how they will work with yours. The goal is for both to work seamlessly.
There are also several other critical questions to consider as well before selecting an agency. Will they bring ideas? Will they challenge you? Or will they simply yes you and take the path of least resistance? Can they work within reasonable budgets? Manage campaigns and deadlines effectively? Will they go the extra mile to get things done? Will your budget be big enough for them? Are you benefiting from the agency’s best resources? Will your account be a small fish in their big pond?
Since 1995, my agency has worked with over a thousand companies – from start-ups and global brands to associations and non-profits. We have always strived to fit within their processes and deliver the right mix of expertise and service. But most importantly, the mindset (and urgency) to deliver value and results is paramount. Our aim is to build relationships, not chase transactional business. This is why our average client tenure spans several years. Several clients have been with us for five to 10 years.
In vetting your next agency, tap into their client roster and see how long they have been collaborating. An agency with long-tenured client relationships not only indicates that they likely produce strategic, high-quality work on a consistent basis, but also value a long-term partnership rather than a series of tactical projects.
This might tell you everything you need to know to make a solid decision.