Thursday, July 15, 2010

It is not the size of the PR firm that matters;It is their output

Many companies opt for publicity instead of advertising because they believe that “publicity” is free, while they must pay for advertising. Well, the truth is that if you get a story about your company or organization on the business segment of the 7 PM news or in daily newspapers, you obviously don’t pay for the story. But what did it cost you to get that story if a PR professional helped place it for you?

Good PRO's can be invaluable in getting your story told in the media. And a positive story in the press can lead to increased sales.

But unfortunately, too often the PR agency / client relationship sours and falls apart before it has a chance to take hold. Why is this?

There are several reasons. Perhaps it was a mismatch between the PR firm and the client. The client needed certain expertise and the PR firm didn’t have it. Or maybe the PR firm did what too many of the larger firms do, which is “bait and switch”. This means when the firm is pitching the account, they bring in the experienced smooth talkers. But when it comes to doing the work, they relegate it to young, inexperienced assistant account executives while the people you first met are off pitching more business.

Most of all, PR agency / client relationships don’t work out because clients don’t feel they are getting value for the money they are spending. Hiring a large PR firm today can seriously dent your marketing budget.

That is why many companies are switching to hiring smaller PR operations. A small firm has minimal overhead and can often produce higher quality work for less money. This is because smaller firms are headed by experienced PR pros who usually have worked for the large firms. They have the experience, but not the overhead, and can therefore give their clients more effort and produce more results for less money.

When searching for a PR firm, make sure you know what you are paying for. Will you be paying for the time, experience and talent you need to accomplish your objectives, or will you be paying for the PR firm’s fancy offices and getting inexperienced personnel to represent you?

The smart companies, of course, go for the latter.


Agnes said...

Ahaaa..Barasa I hope your boss will see this..You 'big boys' have been fleecing we the small clients.Now I know what agencies to go for next time we ask you people to pitch.

Janet said...

I m not really against what you have said but then again sometimes the size of the agency matters because the advertising budget of the agency may be used to get favorable coverage in our media houses.

Frustrated Client said...

Does it also apply to advertising companies?Our advertising company has really been frustrating us because apparently our company is too small compared to the other big accounts that they operate...

Okoth said...

I read an article in the Daily Nation on Friday and i saw that the Big brands like KCB and Kenya Airways are still fighting to have there accounts with the big agencies...Is there something they know that the other clients don't know about the big agencies?

Paul Barasa said...

@ Agnes,As a brand manager you should be able to squeeze all benefits from your agency.One thing that the big clients do is that they put pressure on their agencies to deliver....@Janet am in tandem with what you are saying..@Frustrated client;yes it does apply to advertising agencies too.@ Okoth