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How to brief a PR agency to make sure you get what you want

 

The brief is possibly the most important document in the whole process of working with a PR agency. It lays out exactly what you want, when you want it and how much budget you want to allocate to the task in hand.

Imagine asking someone to build you a house, but not telling them how many bedrooms you want. Or where you want them to build it. Or when you want to move in. Or whether you want a mansion or a cottage. Admittedly, it would be an entertaining episode of Grand Designs, but you’re unlikely to get your dream home.

 

PR is no different. The more detailed your plans and the clearer your brief, the more you can expect to get out of your PR agency. You know your business best at the end of the day, so give the agency a summary of your business challenges or goals and let them advise on the PR to help you achieve these.

Some things to consider…

Know your brand. This may sound obvious, but it’s important that you know exactly what your brand is all about, what it’s values are and what your tone of voice is.

Decide your objectives. As we’ve mentioned, businesses (and people) do PR for many different reasons, so knowing exactly what you want to achieve is key. Be as specific as possible.

Understand your audience. Who are you trying to reach? Are you aiming to attract investors, new business leads or a new customer demographic. Knowing who you are trying to reach shapes the PR approach and defines the ideas and the media outlets your agency will target.

Give a clear time frame. If it’s for a launch, when are you going to launch? Is there enough time to prepare everything in advance? The best PR is carefully planned with ample time to develop the ideas, perfect the messaging, create the materials and outreach far and wide. It’s worth giving as much time as you possibly can.

 Allocate a budget. The sky’s the limit with most marketing and PR is no exception. The more budget there is, the more creative a team can be and the more activities and ‘tactics’ they can plan to achieve the goals you set. It’s really helpful to give a PR agency your budget or at least a ballpark so that they can advise you best and come up with a plan that you can actually sign off on.

We’ve created a handy guide for startups that’s free to download. “How to pick the right agency for you and get the best from them”  is right here.

 

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