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How To Choose the Best PR Agency: The One Thing To Look For

Find a mid-level "PR engine" with something to prove.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

How do you choose a the best PR agency?

I would closely exam­ine the agency team — and look for one type of per­son. However big or small your sug­ges­ted account team is, one per­son will always be the agency’s driv­ing force on 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 access, 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.

The agency will most likely intro­duce you to a seni­or account man­ager who will be your primary con­tact point. This is the second most import­ant role in any team setup, but it often isn’t the most important. 

Usually, a slightly young­er man or woman will be on your account. Not a juni­or, but not by far a seni­or, either. They might have 2 – 5 years of PR exper­i­ence and should be 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, and present­a­tions. They prob­ably also con­tact most journ­al­ists and influ­en­cers on your behalf.

Put it like this: Someone on the PR agency account team often has the most to gain. And some mid-level con­sult­ants are PR rock­stars who can’t wait to get their hands on a pres­ti­gi­ous account — even if it means more work. 

Mid-Level PR Consultant - How To Choose a New PR Agency
Been there, done that.

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 new PR agency pitch, look for a mid-level rock­star with some­thing to prove.

Please sup­port my blog by shar­ing it with oth­er PR- and com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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“There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” The harder you attack someone publicly, the more you convince their fans of their existing belief, not yours.
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