So you’re thinking about hiring an agency. Good for you! That means you’re ready to expand and are taking the next step of securing help so you can get there. Whether you’re looking for a marketing agency, a PR agency, or an integrated agency, there are some important guidelines to help choose:
1. Learn the agency’s style and philosophy: Some agencies are what I call “order takers” – they will do whatever you want without asking any questions or suggesting improvements. If you have a dictatorial style, and are frustrated by people who ask questions, this is your best bet. If you prefer someone who will partner with you at a more strategic level, will challenge your assumptions, will ask questions and make suggestions for improvements, then you need an agency with people who will be able to do that. Be clear about your own needs and be sure you understand who you’re working with before you sign on the dotted line.
2. Check their client list: I am not suggesting this for the usual reasons most people do this, which is to see which “big names” are on their list (sometimes they may have done the creative equivalent of stuffing envelopes for a big company …). You want to know who is on their client list because that will help you address where YOU fit in. You do not want to be their smallest account, nor do you want to be their biggest. The ideal place is to be on the upper side of one of their larger accounts. That kind of client gets the very best attention. The agency has enough experiences and resources to cover most of your needs easily and is hungry to fill the ones they don’t have immediately available.
So go out there and choose a great agency. You’re taking an exciting first step towards realizing your company’s dreams.