Tips for planning your PR and digital marketing campaigns for the year ahead
Autumn is almost upon us and reflecting back on the year, we can definitely say there has been a huge bounceback from the pandemic. Our business-to-business clients have recognised the value of investing in our PR and digital marketing campaigns, which has reaped them rewards in terms of increasing their market share, improving their Google ranking and generating more sales enquiries.
This is a busy season for our PR team, as Autumn is when marketing managers often address their requirements for the year ahead and usually start talking to PR agencies like Dragonfly PR about how we could help.
To help make this a little easier, here are our tips for any business-to-business companies looking for help with choosing a PR agency for the year ahead.
Create a short concise brief
Start by creating a short, concise brief. Keep it concise and ideally to a length of no more than two pages. This will mean you don’t have to separately brief each agency, which can be time consuming. The brief should give an overview of your product/services, your target markets, any new products/services to be launched in the months ahead, any events, exhibitions or activities you are planning and the objectives for the campaign and expected outcomes. You should also give an idea of the budget you’re working to. This ensures that any agency that can’t operate within this budget doesn’t waste your or their time.
Do your research on agencies that already operate in your sector
Carry out internet research of agencies that work extensively in your industry. Check their website for case studies of clients that work in similar sectors and what results they have achieved for them. Once you decide on a shortlist, invite no more than six agencies to send through their credentials, then go through their details and award them on knowledge and understanding of your industry.
Draw up a short list of three agencies to pitch. Give them 2-3 weeks to prepare and book them in on consecutive appointments so you can make a clear comparison whilst it’s still fresh in your mind. As the pitch process is very time consuming for both agency and client and you only really want companies that you are pretty confident have the right level of experience.
Don't ask for actual campaign ideas
The pitch is an opportunity to get to know the agency, its staff and to find out more about how their approach. Today’s pitches should not include the requirement for agencies to give away their actual ideas and they should not be expected to produce a schedule of activities for a new campaign, as this is what happens once an agency is appointed. Through the pitch, you should be able to ascertain their level of expertise, their media contacts and their digital expertise, mainly through their case studies and what they can demonstrate to you about the results they can achieve.
Allow a set time
It is important to give the agencies a set time to present to, leaving 10-15 minutes for questions or discussion at the end. It is good practice to inform the agency who will be attending from the client’s side, so there are no surprises on the day and they know who they are pitching too. It is often the ‘question time’ section that is most useful and gives an agency and the client a chance to get to know each other and to find out if they could work together.
It is a good idea for the client to have a list of pre-prepared questions, which helps to keep the discussion on topic.
Have an evaluation criteria
It is useful to work to an evaluation criteria when an agency is pitching their approach and credentials.
Typical criteria to award marks for the following:
- Industry-relevant writing experience
- Success with media in relevant sectors
- Experience of their staff
- Strength and quality of the case studies
- Understanding of your market
- Digital skills
- Results achieved for other companies in your industry
If you have any PR or digital marketing requirements for the months or year ahead, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated PR team. Call 0114 349 5345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dragonfly PR is a South Yorkshire-based business-to-business PR agency with expertise in the manufacturing and construction sector.