How do you choose a great PR agency?
I would closely examine the agency team — and look for one type of person in particular. However big or small your suggested account team is, there will always be that one person who will be driving your account forward.
When in “sales mode”, it’s not uncommon for PR agencies to front some of their best and most senior people. While these resources might be great to have access to, they probably won’t be doing the everyday grudge work for you. Nor would you want them to; their hourly rates are far too steep.
You will also most likely be introduced to a senior account manager who would serve as your main point-of-contact. This is the second most important role in any team setup, but it often isn’t the most important. In most cases, there will be a slightly younger man or woman on the account. Not a junior, but not by far a senior, either. They might have 2–5 years of PR experience — and they should be quite ambitious.
The mid-level consultant on your account team will probably be the person who writes the first drafts of everything that later ends up on your desk. They make the first or second drafts of all agendas, reports, presentations. They probable also get in touch with most journalists and influencers on your behalf.
In the PR agency account team, they are often the ones with the most to gain. And some of these mid-level consultants are PR rockstars who can’t wait to get their hands on a prestigious account — even if it means more work.
This should make plenty of sense. The junior consultants on your team are still learning the ropes and the more senior consultants have already proven themselves.
While your senior account manager might be responsible for several accounts, the mid-level consultant on your team might just be fighting to establish their reputation. Getting a mid-level PR rockstar looking to “make their mark” by using your brand as a career springboard is a surefire way of getting the most bang for your buck.
So, in any PR pitch, look for a mid-level PR rockstar with something to prove.