What are the things you need to consider before hiring a professional marketing, advertising or public relations firm?
Hiring a firm to help you with your marketing or communications is an important decision for any business owner to make. But it doesn’t need to be a confusing or intimidating ordeal. Just follow these basic guidelines to find the firm that is a suitable match to your needs:
1. It’s important to consider agencies who have clients that are similar to the size of your business and have comparable marketing/PR budgets. Why? Because large agencies are known to turn over the service of “smaller” accounts to junior staffers. Naturally, agency heads are interested in their largest and best paying clients and will often personally service a large client. Hire the agency that will commit to the level of service you need today and for years to come.
2. Do your homework and check client references. Unhappy clients are a sure indicator that the agency is not performing. You also have the right to expect that your work will be prepared competently and delivered on time and within budget.
3. Ask the agency for a capabilities and portfolio presentation. The quality, originality and effectiveness of the work is the agency’s benchmark and stock in trade. Be sure to ask “Specifically, how did the agency’s work meet the client’s goals and objectives?”
4. Before committing your business to a specific agency have a thorough understanding of how the agency charges for its services, it’s billing policies and how it resolves billing disputes with clients. It is always best to get this in writing before hand. The document should be signed and dated by you and someone authorized to represent the agency. Both you and the agency should retain copies for your records.
5. The general “fit” of the agency with your business. This may be the most difficult part of reviewing an agency for possible engagement. Ask yourself the question: does the agency fit with your perspective on business, your own business style, company culture and work ethics? Do you feel comfortable that your company will be represented in a positive way by this agency?
6. Finally, agree on who will be the agency representative that will be working with your company. If this agency representative should become ill or leave the company who will provide you with service?
Following these recommendations will help you find the agency that is right for you and maximize the benefits of this essential business service. Good luck!
Note: To post a comment use the “Leave a comment” link below. Or you can also use the submission form available on either the “About Me” or “Contact Me” pages.