5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Agency Relationship

You’ve signed the contract and now you have your very own PR/Marketing agency at your fingertips. While you and your agency representative may both have some great ideas for getting attention on your company, you will want to get the most out of the projects you work on with the team. Do that by building your agency relationship. Follow these tips in order to get the most for your money:

Make sure you and your agency are on the same page.

Clearly define your business’s strategic goals with your agency. With every opportunity that arises, evaluate to determine if the opportunity will bring you closer to meeting your objectives. Otherwise, you will constantly chase after the next shiny thing without actually getting anywhere.

Flag speaking requests with your agency team.

Sometimes speaking opportunities from media and press go straight to your CEO or representative instead of to your PR agency. While it is great to get these opportunities, letting your agency team know you plan to take the opportunity allows them to help plan out what you will say and how you can use the opportunity strategically to move toward your goals. This is what your team is best at so rely on them to help you handle media requests.

Be prepared for impromptu opportunities.

Thanks to the immediacy of digital sharing, media today works at breakneck speed. That means an opportunity to speak or give a quote may materialize in the morning and the story may be published by afternoon, giving you just a handful of hours to pull information together. In order to secure these spots, you will want to respond to an invitation quickly after receiving it. And the more often you accept quickly, the more exposure you will get in various publications.

Keep generating news.

Many companies come to a PR agency with something newsworthy to announce, but then don’t generate another piece of news for half a year or more. You will want to make sure your company stays fresh in readers’ minds by doing something newsworthy on a regular basis. Whether it is a press release for a product launch, an important new feature, or a big partner integration, supply your PR firm with something readers will care about every month.

Other times, companies will attempt to make too much news by, for example, trying to make a story out of a small update or even generating fake news to stay in headlines week after week. Journalists get burned out on this approach; They often know when this trick is getting pulled on them and will not pick up a pitch if they sense this is the case. Your agency should be able to tell if a “news” announcement will pass muster. Listen to their counsel.

Know what your agency is good at and how you can help.

Even if your agency can help you with everything, it might not always make sense to have them do everything. For example, if you are more familiar with a product message, it might make more sense for you to take a cut at the first press release draft than your agency. That said, if writing isn’t your strong suit, by all means set up a call with your PR lead and be sure they get down all the points they need to draft the release for you.

This article was inspired by Mavenlink’s ebook entitled The Guide to Handling Difficult Clients.

About the Author

As a technology public relations expert working in Silicon Valley, Jeff Koo directed and executed all aspects of communications strategy for dozens of companies ranging from emerging startups to established global brands. PR Week recognized him as a recipient of the prestigious 40 under 40 award.

Jeff’s experience includes a broad range of companies ranging from mobile to VC to enterprise, but his current focus is on consumer technology. This includes everything from connected devices and services (Dropcam), digital music, gaming and entertainment (Rdio, Pulse Evolution, Outfit7, Serious Business), connected home technologies (Lowe’s Iris, AlertMe), and emerging technologies such as natural human interfaces (Vlingo, Expect Labs).