What Do You Owe Your PR Agency?

Nothing, right? Cause you’ve hired them. You pay them money. They work for you. It’s their job to generate media whilst you go about your business. Right?

Actually, nothing could be further from the heart of a healthy relationship between an agency and a client. Unless there’s regular contact between key decision-makers who are vested in the prominence of their business, you’re not going to get very far.

If your agency is responsible, they’ll get you somewhere. They’ll drag you as far as they can with whatever they’ve got. But if you are vested in the campaign, if you are feeding the agency what they need to get out the news about you, then you’re going to make far many more media gains than possible otherwise.

In PR Daily, the first item in a good article entitled ‘9 Tips to Get More From Your PR Resources’ makes this point clear. “Commit the time,” says this writer. She then goes on to reference one PR company that only commits the time if the client itself commits the time.

The alternative is grim. If the agency is coming up with ideas unilaterally, if the client signs off on the ideas but isn’t really engaged by them, then the ideas wither. You can’t make something from nothing. The client actually has to do something for you to promote it.

So what’s required? This: Whoever it is that is persuaded that PR is a very good thing for their company, that person must unequivocally communicate to their people that they have obligations to the agency. Clients pay us. But here’s the counter-intuitive thing about it: They owe us, too.

Jim Sullivan Managing Director
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