How does your PR agency rate?

How does your PR agency rate?

Public Relations | Judette Coward-Puglisi

October 5, 2009


Ideas Grove, a Dallas based  PR agency came up with a cool list  that allows you deterine  if your PR firm makes the grade.


 Of course the main failing of the twenty question list  is that it postions  PR firms as doing only media relations, ignoring other areas of public relations: crisis communciations, community  relations, reputation manageement, stakeholder engagement, social marketing etc.


 Still the questions are  useful and pretty easy to score. 


Also, I bet if  you change around some of the funtions,  the quizz  that can be used to rate  your ad agency  as well. 


Score 1  point for each anser that is no, do the tally, and decde if your agency fits your bill. 


Answers are at the end.



Do you routinely catch careless typos and factual inaccuracies in agency-drafted news releases?            

2. Do agency-drafted news releases typically exhibit only a superficial understanding of your business?         

3. Do agency-drafted news releases too often miss the point, burying important information?

4. Does the agency ask you for ideas more often than it provides you with ideas?             
5. Does the agency seem to think PR stands for "press release," churning out releases but not offering other, more creative ways to build your brand?
6. Do agency representatives get the names or titles of your company’s senior executives wrong in correspondence and/or conversation?
7. Examine the media list your PR firm uses when distributing your news releases. Are there more than a few inappropriate publications or out-of-date contacts on the list?
8. Do the agency representatives who pitch your company to media on the phone have only a superficial understanding of what your company does?
9. Has the agency ever arranged a meeting with a reporter and your company’s executives that didn’t seem to have a well-thought-out objective?
10. Has your primary agency contact person changed more than once in the past 12 months?
11. Does your primary contact person seem inexperienced or immature?
12. When you have a problem or concern, must your primary contact generally talk with a supervisor before responding to you?
13. Does the agency send a senior executive to meet with you every couple of months to smooth over complaints about the firm’s performance?
14. Does the agency miss deadlines or seem to always be scrambling at the last minute to meet them?
15. Has a journalist ever complained to you about your PR agency?
16. Are the agency’s billing statements confusing, so that you’re not sure exactly what you’re paying for?


17. Does the agency hem and haw when asked the hourly rates of various personnel on your account?
18. Do the agency’s billing statements show that more time is spent on client relations (e.g., meetings and correspondence with you) than on actual client service?
19. Does the agency boast about delivering measurable results, but then only give you a list of press mentions that mean nothing to your company’s executives?
20. Does it seem like the agency’s heart isn’t really in it – that it’s simply working to get a fee?



  If your score is:
18-20: You have good agency relationship. Nonetheless, we recommend you discuss your "yes" answers with the agency to clear the air on those issues.


14-17: You can do better. But can you avoid the hassle of finding a new agency by improving the current relationship? It may be worth a try. Have a heart-to-heart with your agency about your concerns and gauge their response. If they seem reenergized and refocused on your account, give them another two or three months – then take this test again.


0-13: This agency is not meeting your needs. You don’t trust them and they’re not giving their all for you. It’s time to move on.