Appointing a PR agency is an investment for any organisation, and naturally businesses want a good return on the money they pay.. As such, it is important to have a clear and effective brief that will not only help a PR agency to create a bespoke initial pitch to the specific needs and aims of your business but will also underpin the long-term communications strategy that the agency develops.
The brief is the first step to ensuring that any communications activity is as impactful as possible from the very start of the working relationship.
It’s important to be open-minded about what the agency will recommend to you, which means that the brief shouldn’t be set in stone – it should allow for some creativity from the agency so they can showcase their talents.
So, what should you include in your brief to get the best possible PR results? Digital PR account manager Matthew Fraser shares his top tips to ensure your brief is on point to help lay the foundations for results you’re happy with and a good return on investment.
Provide a solid business overview
At Faith, we always do thorough research on potential clients. However, it’s also crucial that the client shares a detailed overview and introduction to the company in the brief. Agencies want to understand your thoughts on your organisation and any future plans.
A succinct overview of the services, objectives and core values of your organisation can give the PR agency a lot of material to work with. It will ensure that you are both aligned from the get-go, meaning that the agency can pitch ideas that are reinforcing your key messages.
Clear objectives and targets
PR encompasses a range of activities, so it’s important to establish your KPIs and success metrics from the beginning. Do you want to be providing regular comments to national publications, or would you rather be appearing in more targeted industry media? Will the agency be helping your business recover from a crisis or helping to support an SEO strategy by securing high-authority links?
The brief should be clear about what kind of coverage you are looking to achieve, as this will inform the agencies PR strategy.
Know your target audience
It is vitally important to be clear on who you are trying to reach with your PR activity as a business. Are you aiming to attract investors, reach new business leads or target a new customer base? Or are you trying to target a specific sector or geographical location?
By knowing who you are trying to reach, it helps shape the agency’s approach and defines the ideas and the media outlets your agency will target as well as the best way to target them.
It’s very important to include what kind of budget you have available for the agency. By understanding what budget is available you will be able to establish early on which agencies are more suitable to work with.
By setting a budget you can ensure that you don’t attract agencies and pitches that have fees you won’t be able to pay, or, on the flip side, you might receive much more reserved PR suggestions when you want a campaign that has a bigger impact.
The more budget available, the more creative a team can be, and the more activities can be planned to reach your objectives. It’s helpful to give an agency your budget or a ballpark figure so that they can advise and come up with a plan that you can afford.
Define clear time frames
Setting out clear objectives and timescales to achieve them provides the ultimate clarity and steer for any PR activity. What is the PR activity for? Is it linked to a specific date or time period? Is it for a launch of a product or service, when are you launching? Is there enough time for the agency to prepare everything in advance?
The best PR is carefully planned and executed with plenty of time to develop the ideas, deliver the right messaging, create any supporting materials and outreach far and wide. It’s always worth giving and agency as much time as you possibly can.
It’s also crucial to be upfront with the agency about the length of the contract in the brief, be it a one-off project, a three-month project or an annual monthly retainer – all of this information in the brief will help them deliver a correct PR strategy for you.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
As with all relationships, communication is key, and this is no different between an organisation and a PR agency.
Throughout the whole briefing, pitching and onboarding process, it is always beneficial to have clear channels of communication between you and an agency. Having clear communication between both parties will allow the agency to deliver a PR strategy that suits your needs and will deliver the best results.
If you need PR, content or social support for your business in 2022, feel free to get in touch with the team here.