How To Shop for a PR Agency (Part 1)

Whether you’re a B2C or a B2B, there’s a startup marketing ‘checklist’ that we recommend you follow when you’re shopping for a PR agency. Over the next two posts, we’ll be talking about the top 6 areas you should be evaluating, starting with these three:


Domain Expertise

This needs to top your list; you don’t want to be paying to teach your agency about your market space. Domain expertise ensures your PR agency brings media relationships that are relevant and current to leverage on your behalf. But you also want your agency to know the analysts and bloggers, culture, venues, and industry forums of the players in your space.


You want an account team that is not spread across too many other accounts. You want mindshare of the team so that your startup gets their “unfair share” of the attention, good ideas and thinking of the PR team you’re paying to support you. Our rule of thumb is that no member of your PR team should work on more than four accounts, including your startup. You also need a single person (and you should interview and be comfortable with that person) who lives and breathes your startup– that one go-to person for your account.

Full Program

Some agencies do “great launch” but fall short until the next launch. Most startups need a full PR program that includes a balance of strategy, media relations, article/speaker placements, writing, social media, etc. As you’re vetting candidates, you’ll want to ensure that the proposed team (preferably 2-4 people) has the full experience and skill set to deliver a full program.

More to come…