Biggest isn’t always best when it comes to PR

Biggest isn’t always best when it comes to PR

If you’ve decided to outsource your public relations work I wonder how you went about it?

Did you Google “PR agencies”? Perhaps you visited a couple of swish websites, looked up their credentials, then shortlisted a few based on first impressions?

Then, taken in by groovy offices and Italian-suited PR directors with shiny shoes, you reached for your cheque book, reassured by the fragrant aroma of the reassuringly expensive coffee handed to you by a pretty 20 something called Gemima.

But what the hell, that’s all ok because PR is expensive right?

Having had dealings with top agencies and now leading my own small agency, I’ve seen both sides of the coin and that’s why I can tell you PR is a reputation-based industry like no other.

You can’t beat a super fancy website and a few theatrical winks by the Gemima’s of this world to get new clients excited.

But herein lies the point: We are, although it pains me to say, spin doctors. So business owners and entrepreneurs are often lulled into a false sense of security, ending up with a limited PR service that costs them an arm and a leg.

As someone who is set in stone from a journalistic background I have been able to cut through the smoke and mirrors and remind you that plush agency has a lot of overheads.

If you run a tight ship, downsizing to a boutique agency will get you more blood, swaet and tears for your outlay as you’ll be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. You can afford a hell of a lot more of that expertise and more time equals better results.

Which leads me to my next point—quality versus quantity: Why choose?

A new client who recently switched to us said they moved as suddenly they were no longer the best thing since sliced bread, and were paying high-end fees for a fresh faced graduate to handle their account.

Smaller agencies are more often than not led by hands on seasoned professionals doing 100 percent of the legwork, from developing the idea to grabbing the headline—seamless implementation delivered with real-world aplomb.

Also remember smaller agencies are only as good as their last project as media relations is their meal ticket. As they are 100 percent accountable for every outcome, there is nowhere to hide. Guys like us will fight tooth, nail, and bone to get your name where it counts, and without a 9-to-5 mentality.

There is also what we call death by committee. Those guys with their blue sky thinking can be slow off the mark and are reasons why a smaller PR resource can outperform a bigger one. PR is opportunistic. It’s about keeping your eyes, ears, and nose to the ground, spotting opportunities and jumping on them.
The huge pot of small PR companies post credit crunch means you have more choice than ever to find someone who matches not only your company’s objectives but also your personal ones. Good relationships, faith trust and gut feeling are crucial, so here is your opportunity to find someone you enjoy working with. The more positive the relationship, the more motivated the team and the more fruitful the collaboration.

So next time you’re reviewing your PR, ask yourself whether you enjoy working with your agency and are you getting value for money.

Go on support the small guy. You may find out cutting back your PR budget could enhance your business.