What makes a PR agency a ‘safe choice’?

Many clients consider an agency’s reputation when deciding on a safe choice, but perhaps they should dig deeper into the agency’s track record of making judgments.

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The old adage goes, “Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM.” That seems to mean that the best choice is a safe choice. I’m not so sure. Consider what constitutes a “safe choice.”

Inevitably, when a major corporation seeks a PR agency to support its communications efforts, a request for proposals (RFP) asks for critical capabilities that can help a company sift through the myriad options available and narrow them down to the few that make sense for their specific needs. Relevant experience always matters, as does specific industry knowledge, followed by creativity, a sense of a “safe choice” based on an agency’s reputation within the PR industry, and, of course, actual public relations skill.

In my many years as a PR professional, I have noted that there is one critical component that is largely overlooked. Little consideration is given to the matter of judgment. Does the agency have critical judgment? Is it “poor” or “sound”? This can be abigger factor than all others and prove to be a major element is selecting a “safe choice.”

Critical thought

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