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PR by numbers

If you are evaluating PR agencies, sometimes it’s good to look at the numbers.  Here are a few that are worth thinking about.

Client loading
Check how many other PR clients your agency account team is working on. If you have an account manager who’s loaded up with six or more other clients, it can be difficult for them to give your business the  required enthusiasm. Despite rumours to the contrary, PRs are only human.

Average account value
What’s the average value of the accounts handled by the agency – and how does it compare to how much your business will be spending. If the agency’s other clients are spending several times more than you,  there’s a chance they’ll be less motivated to ‘do the business’ for you.

Staff turnover
PR is a young industry and it’s natural for staff to come and go as they scale the ladder.  But you’ll want to make sure there is some stability in staff turnover – otherwise you’ll be forever briefing the agency’s latest recruits about the basics of your business.

Charge rates
Some top PR agencies will charge £100 an hour for working on your account – whether it’s the account director with 10 years experience doing the work, or the junior who’s fresh out of uni.  While more experience doesn’t always mean better quality, you want to be satisfied  you’re getting value for your money.

Longevity of accounts
As clients’ priorities and requirements evolve it’s expected that they will look at changing PR agencies. But in my opinion if the average length of stay of an agency’s clients is much under two years, you need to be wary.