PR Agencies Can Do More to be “RFP Ready”

PR agencies should and can improve their RFP response “batting average” by asking questions and pushing for complete information up front, avoiding the cookie cutter approach, looking inward before responding outward, and being prepared to put their best foot forward during the proposal and presentation process.

 

Those were the recommendations we shared with more than 50 firms when RFP Associates presented to mid-sized PR agency heads and senior executives last month during the PRSA Counselors Academy conference in California.

 

It was part of our launch and introduction of our newest offering, “RFP Response Ready,” a customized suite of services for PR agencies eager to improve their new business acumen and approach to the RFP response process.


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5 Key Components to Use For Your Next RFP

When someone asks what the most critical component is when hiring a public relations firm I often respond: “time.”

Time is easily the most under-appreciated element required for working with a PR agency. It begins with the time that should be devoted to identify and hire the most qualified agency, and then it continues through to the weekly time needed to provide the materials required for them to do their job (i.e. get you results).

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Finding a PR Firm Isn’t the Piece of Cake it Used to Be . . . and It Shouldn’t Be

Time was, searching for a PR firm meant jotting down a few requirements and shooting it to a few former colleagues or friends of friends at two or three familiar agencies. 

 

Sorry. Like everything else in life, finding the firm that will best serve your needs is no longer that easy. And it shouldn't be. In today's bottom line focused ROI environment can you really invest six figures into an agency that may or may not be able


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Why Small Businesses Don’t Like PR - Part 1

It bothers us every time we read or hear about a start-up or small business complaining that it wasn’t happy with its PR firm. Sure, there are two sides to every story, but we’re willing to wager that the primary cause for agency dissatisfaction among small businesses is – more often than not - poor planning and consideration before hiring the firm. This is not to point a finger at hiring companies. More often than not, they are justifiably too enmeshed in their own day-to-day details to understand the many nuances of public relations to properly study, hire and get value from a firm. But where does that leave them, and how can they overcome that hump?

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Time Well Spent on Searching for a New PR Agency: Their Top Concerns About the RFP Process

The PR agency selection process is a mystery that needs unraveling. With fierce competition among agencies and consultants of all stripes and colors, how can one firm distinguish itself from the others? Can a smaller boutique beat out a larger firm in

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Making the Case for Case Histories

It’s no secret that our anemic economy, though technically growing, has not treated public relations agencies very well.  RFP Associates has received reports of diminished billings and layoffs at agencies of all sizes, particularly here in our base of Washington, DC, where the sequester and now the government shutdown has paralyzed many once high-flying firms.

 

When business slows and RFPs are few and far between, what is an agency to do?  One suggestion:  build on your library of client case histories.

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10 Things Redux

A couple of months ago the Washington Business Journal contacted us asking advice for their upcoming “10 Things to ask before…Choosing a PR firm” column. This regular feature on various topics includes recommendations from a series of anonymous experts (can’t imagine why) in the industry.

 

With its publication this week the Washington Business Journal offers some good categories (e.g., qualifications, references, chemistry, measuring), but we’re astounded by the column’s utter simplicity and matter-of-factness.  The column suggests that a business can hire a PR agency as easily as one might shop for window blinds!

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The Courage and Conviction to “Tell It Like It Is”

Question:  What’s the most frequent disappointment about agencies, according to a growing number of client organizations?

 

Answer:  That they are not providing enough new ideas or thinking outside of the proverbial box.

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