When we’re pitching new
business I always get the same question: What makes you different? It’s
always a hard question to answer and in many ways a lot of the
communications agencies out there are the same. Most agencies worth
anything will be able to claim relationships and to be honest it will be
hard to find a difference there. So, I can see how it could be
difficult for potential clients to choose a partner for something so
important to them – their business. Here’s a few things to think about
when choosing your agency.
- Who’s going to manage your business: Make sure you have access to
seasoned staff who will be available to give you strategic guidance and
direction. You want the type of partnership where you can just call up
the most senior person and talk through a problem.
- TEAM TO CLIENT RATIO -
How many clients is your team working on: Agencies who aren’t charging
enough to give the brand enough hours will typically have a high team to
client ratio. Multiple clients per team member and not enough time per
account. This is a huge red flag that your business won’t get enough
attention or your programs will be cookie cutter.
- Do they have outstanding client recommendations: Your potential
agency should be able to provide a number of client testimonials.
Nothing tells you more about an agency than what their current and
former clients are saying.
- SERVICE -
What do they offer: So many times, clients try to compare agencies
through cost. Make sure that when you’re comparing, the offering is the
same. Different communications agencies include and offer different
services. Are they offering just media outreach? Do they offer social
media and digital capabilities? How about influencer marketing and
experiential events? How about analytics? Decide what you want from your
agency and what you may want in the future.
- Does their program deliver on objectives: So many times, agencies
will come in with a super creative program but when you look at it
closely it’s off brand and off strategy. It’s always fun to have a super
creative program but sometimes the bread and butter tactics will give
you the better ROI. You need to work with an agency that’s willing to
say that and be able to evaluate what will work and what won’t for the
- CHEMISTRY -
Do you have chemistry: Ultimately, it may just come down to the most
important thing – chemistry. When working with an agency and a specific
team day in and day out, you must trust and enjoy the people you’re