But the client also has a responsibility to ensure that the pitch process—and ongoing relationship—is as effective as possible. Starting my career in a PR agency and moving to an in-house position, I have been through a number of agency pitches from both sides.
Here are four steps for in-house practitioners to successfully plan and hire a PR agency:
1. Prepare a proper request for proposal.
Every pitch starts with a strong request for proposal.
The RFP should clearly outline your brand, challenges, research, objectives, campaign, key performance indicators and budget. Be specific about what part of the brief is for the agency, as opposed to activity that will be done in-house. Include a well-defined scope of work.
Also include examples of previous activity. This can show the agency what level of profile you expect, and what type of media outlets you consider to be a fit.
Try to be creative with your RFP. Don’t send a 30-page written document. Instead, consider using a more visual format and include plenty of video and images.