Choosing a communications agency that’s right for you really is like looking for a romantic partner you hope to be with for a long time.
You need to have a natural chemistry so you work well together, achieve the results you want and hopefully have lots of fun. You also need to have complete trust in your communications agency because everything they do for you reflects back on your business and what you stand for.
So don’t take any chances. Don’t even think about falling for a gigolo agency that woos their clients initially but is not in it for the long haul. And even if you are desperate to find someone to represent you, don’t consider making a 1.55am grab and going for anyone that looks half decent.
Instead, take a look at our top ten tips for finding a communications agency that’s marriage material.
1. Determine why you’re looking for an agency and what type of agency you’re looking for. If you know the answer to this before begin your search, it will significantly help you select the agency that’s right for you.
2. Don’t take the job of choosing an agency lightly. Research and develop a short list of agencies you want to meet. Online searches, personal recommendations and finding out who’s responsible for work you like will help you do this.
3. Make sure you have a dedicated individual within your company who will work closely with your agency. Ideally, this should be someone who has marketing experience and can work with an agency on a strategic level.
4. Determine the amount of money you can pay an agency to carry out marketing activities for you. There’s no point pining for a super amazing agency if they’ll bankrupt you within the first week.
5. Now, once you have all that sorted, it’s time to begin the agency interview process. First up, choose somewhere to meet that’s relaxing and will help you get to know the personality of an agency.
6. On your first date – we mean first meeting – ask to meet the actual team you’re likely to be working with to see if there’s a connection. They should provide you with a good understanding of what services they provide and how they think their work can benefit your business.
7. During your meeting, ask to see some examples of their work or case studies. This will give you a good overview of how they think about creative problems and deliver solutions.
8. Steer away from a pitch process that involves agencies producing speculative creative work for you. Although this might be a good representation of their creative skills, it won’t be illustrative of any strategy working behind a big idea.
9. Other good questions to ask an agency on a first date are:
Have you looked into what we actually do? (in other words, Are you really interested in us?)
Are you excited by what we do? (Do you think we’re hot?)
Are you passionate about working with us? (You need to impress. We’re not easy, you know.)
If they answer YES to all of these, start getting excited. Love is in the air!
10. Finally, you and your agency need to remember to pull together throughout your relationship, especially during the bad times. Regularly review how things are going and ways in which you can improve your chemistry.