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Building Effective Relationships Between Brands and Agencies

By Alison Harrison

For a brand, bringing a marketing or PR agency on board can mark the start of a beautiful friendship, or an expensive experiment. We’re all hoping for the former and trying to avoid the latter of course!  In a recent paper, the press release site Business Wire outlines some useful input for brands to build constructive, effective relationships with their PR or Marketing agencies.

PR experts Barbara Bates, CEO of Hotwire, Kate Krane, EVP of Edelman, Pacific Northwest, and Mark Addison, the Chair and President of Rocket Science contributed some great insights based on their extensive experience. Their top five tips for brands were:

  1. Know when to hire an agency – the determining factor is the stage a company is at rather than any size or market capital benchmark.
  2. Know your objectives – brands should be prepared and be ready to ask the right questions to get the best agency fit.
  3. Help the C-Suite get behind the effort – know how to persuade the money guys to buy in to the need for an agency.
  4. Treat the agency as a business partner – be transparent and share data if you want the best results.
  5. Rely on the agency to help focus the budget – learn how agencies can help brands maximize their budgets.

It’s a quick read with lots of interesting nuggets, and food for thought whether you’re on the brand or agency side.  A noteworthy reminder from Mark Addison was, “The common thread in our most successful relationships with clients, where we’ve contributed most to their business, is thinking big.”