Finding the perfect partner is never easy. The best campaigns are born out of strong working relationships. You need to find and appoint an agency that not only understands your core brand values, but also has the best ideas and strategies to get you in front of your target audiences.
When you start looking for a new PR agency, it is essential not to underestimate the power of a detailed brief. A PR brief is your opportunity to explain to an agency exactly what it is you’re looking for – from the customers you want to reach to the message you want to communicate.
Here are the top seven things that an effective PR brief should do.
Explain who you are
What is your story? The more an agency knows about you and your brand, the more tailored support they can offer you. Background can be extremely useful when trying to understand a businesses aims and objectives. When was your business was set up? What is your business model and funding structure? What are your immediate and long-term targets for your brand and what key challenges do you currently face? It’s also a chance to explain why you’ve decided to recruit a new agency and pass on any insight into competitor brands and businesses.
Define your messaging
How do you want people to see your brand? What is your USP? What do you want to say? It’s important you clarify exactly what you want to communicate to your audiences through your public relations messages and what you want people to take from your campaign. This is also something a PR agency can help fine-tune for you.
Define your audiences
Who are you trying to reach? Are they local or national or international? Are they consumers, business-owners, students or investors? Do you have a primary and secondary audience? Audiences can be segmented in an endless number of ways, so it’s important your PR agency is appropriately primed to help you maximise your brand awareness.
Show what success means to you and what you want to achieve
Objectives need to be shared. Defining clear and measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) in the brief lets agencies know what they need to achieve to meet your expectations.
If it’s brand mentions you want – is there one key place you want to be seen? Are there key influencers in your market you want to make aware of your business?
It’s important to remember that PR isn’t just about gaining media coverage. Success indicators could include establishing your brand’s position within a specific sector, driving referrals and traffic to your site or raising your profile amongst key influencers. A good PR agency should be able to recognise your needs and develop the relevant ideas and strategies to meet them.
Outline other marketing activity
Outline other marketing activity taking place – it’s useful to know your SEO keywords. Sharing your marketing strategy will ensure your PR activity is aligned.
Set a budget and time scale
If you don’t want to limit an agency’s room for creativity you can set a budget range, with an additional ‘project scope’. This way you can test the boundaries of what’s possible on your budget, without ending up disappointed when those big ideas floated in the pitch turn out to be unachievable on your budget.
Time scales are also useful. Are you seeking a one off six-month project of activity or are you looking for more long-term support?
Clarify next steps
Are you looking for agencies to deliver a creative pitch? Submit a written proposal? Or alternatively, some businesses just prefer a chat to share ideas and get a feel for an agency’s style.
It is also important to remember that your brief is just a start point, a springboard to new working relationship. In the hands of a good agency, it will be considered, dissected and interrogated and no doubt lead to many more questions.
That’s it. Good luck.
By Hope Simmonds