In a recent introductory conversation with a new business prospect, the senior executive expressed concern with the effectiveness of an agency that has less than 10 employees. This is certainly not the first time we have heard this concern and some folks – no matter your response – have a predisposition to a larger PR firm. But this time, the question really stuck with me – Does size really matter?
While a multitude of factors go into the success of a PR agency and the client program, size of the firm really shouldn’t play a part. A dedicated senior team of two seasoned professionals who are well versed in the specific tech/vertical industry is far more effective than an on-again off-again team of five or six professionals with varying degrees of overall PR and industry experience. So what should a growing technology company look for in an agency if size doesn’t matter?
1) Average Client Engagement – If an agency turns over most of their accounts in 12 months or less, that’s a big red flag. It likely means they overpromise to get the account and then under-deliver.
2) Average Length of Employee Retention – Certainly employees come and go, but if the firm has a revolving door of staff, then you may be walking into a hornets nest as the team you just engaged has not gelled – leading to subpar overall collaboration and productivity.
3) Aggressiveness – Is the team able to go that extra mile to make it happen? Are they able to push you – the client – on an ongoing basis to generate creative ideas and keep the momentum alive?
4) Kismet – If you don’t like the folks who are acting on your behalf on the front lines, then all the other positives are negated. Chemistry between the agency and client is paramount.