Everywhere around the world, Public Relations suppliers that participate in auctions receive a PR agency pitch brief from the client company that organizes the selection. This article details how a powerful PR pitch brief should be built, but you could also download a template in PDF format.
The PR agency pitch
What is a PR agency pitch?
It is a selection process organized by a client company to find a PR agency that will be in charge of managing its external public relations. The subject of the pitch can be limited to a certain brand or to organizing a single big event, but usually includes a 2-3 years contract for the winning PR agency to manage all company’s corporate communication and media coverage.
The PR agency pitch is organized usually by the PR manager or a marketing department member and uses a standardized template and an Evaluation Grid (judging scores).
What services do PR agencies offer?
Public Relations agencies offer a wide range of services, which in recent years has expanded at the same pace as the advertising agencies thanks to new digital opportunities.
Let’s see the main services delivered by a PR agency:
- Public relations strategy.
- Media relations.
- Content marketing.
- Social media marketing organizing events.
- Experiential marketing.
- Influencer marketing.
Use a structured PR agency pitch brief template
Given the wide range of services that a public relations agency performs, the PR agency pitch brief template must include several important chapters:
1. Insights about your company and its brands
- Detail insightful information about the company and its brands.
- Map company’s stakeholders and why they are important for the pitch.
- Focus on information that is not public yet, because agencies use PR monitoring tools and usually they already know every piece of news about your company.
2. PR challenges
- Describe here your current PR challenges or pain points that the agency should focus on.
- Do not exceed more than 3 pain points.
3. What the PR pitch is about
- Start with the “Why”, or strategic rationale, the reason why the pitch is focused on this subject.
4. Objectives for the PR agency
- Set a primary goal, followed by a maximum of 2 secondary goals.
- Set quantitative goals only for activities where you are experienced and own historical data.
5. Budget & Deliverables
- Explain clearly what should include the pitching presentation.
- Show your expertise in PR management by specifying the PR budget (mandatory).
- Share PR references (your own or from other companies) in order to set the right expectations.
- Set a clear timeline.
6. Evaluation Grid (or judging criteria)
- List 5 to 10 criteria.
- Avoid qualitative KPIs and subjectivity.
- Detail who will judge the PR pitch presentations and how the scoring will be calculated.
PR Agency Pitch Brief example PDF
Just like for advertising pitches, I share below the PDF version of the PR Agency Pitch Brief, which includes both sections and rules of thumb.
The milestones for organizing a PR agency pitch process
The success of an agency pitch relies mainly on the proper setup, a good shortlisting of PR agencies and clear evaluation criteria.
If you plan to organize soon such a selection process, I recommend you to read this article about the 10 rules for a successful PR agency pitch.
Besides a good brief and rules to be followed, you should take into consideration in winning a partner after the Public Relations pitch, so try to be as transparent as possible throughout the selection process.
Last but not least, be open to change your PR practices if an agency proposes a new way of managing these corporate communication activities. At the end of the day, you pitch for new strategies, visions and ideas.