Promoting the agency

With PR, as with any other professional pursuit, when you can't do the job yourself, you should definitely be looking to the experts. This is especially true for ad agencies.

With PR, as with any other professional pursuit, when you can’t do the job yourself, you should definitely be looking to the experts. This is especially true for ad agencies.

While they may be brilliant at servicing their clients’ marketing and advertising needs, promoting their own business tends to end up at the bottom of the priority list. And with fewer requests for proposals in circulation among agencies, there is more reason than ever to start using PR to get your name out there.

When Xposure PR started working with Toronto’s Spencer Francey Peters (SFP) about two years ago, a key element of the campaign, beyond ongoing article placement and releases, was speaking opportunities. The rationale behind the approach was that SFP could cost-effectively reach a large, high-quality audience of industry experts who are already interested in what they have to say. It’s a natural qualified lead. SFP has already engaged in five speaking opportunities at key industry events; the Holy Grail was the 2002 Corporate Image Conference in New York, a high-profile international conference that draws branding executives from around the world.

Toronto’s Myriad Marketing began using PR services five years ago when the event management agency was still young and fairly unknown. In order to promote its name in the industry and develop more credibility for the company, we felt that one effective PR medium would be industry awards.

To that end we developed a strategic council to target award opportunities and make submissions. Within six months of the launch of this award initiative, Myriad won its first award.

This not only gained it more credibility, it also gave the agency some insight into how it stacked up against the competition. The awards now support ongoing promotional efforts.

So, what are the rules for doing successful PR for an agency?

Consistency and patience. PR only influences perception if it is done consistently and over a period of time. You can get some quick hits here and there, but to truly make a name for your agency with prospective customers, nothing beats consistent coverage.

Keep it focused. What works on the consumer end is not necessarily what works for agencies. Keep story concepts to the point and relevant to the publications you target, and make sure you target only those publications that will deliver PR value.

Use PR experts when you need to. Outsourcing to a PR specialist means that someone else has the responsibility of getting your name out, keeping it prominent over time and making sure you don’t let any potentially newsworthy items pass by the wayside. Like other marketing areas, you need to understand what can be accomplished through PR, how to execute it, and how it can be used to support your overall business goals.