Why hiring a boutique PR agency is the best way to tell a story that inspires trust
Public relations (PR) is a booming industry, with a reported six PR people for every journalist. As a result, agencies are designed to turnover.
When agencies grow bigger and take on more and more clients, they often offer the same ‘solutions’ over and over – because it’s easier to train young, inexperienced team members how to deliver. As a result, clients end up receiving templated advice acted on by overworked and inexperienced people looking for a way out.
To stand out, your company needs a PR strategy that is unique to your objectives and ambitions.
Boutique agencies have smaller teams, smaller workspaces, and more flexible resources that nurture larger-than-life ideas, put meticulous attention to detail, and perform a thorough examination of your company’s requirements rather than a brief overview.
Here are some reasons why you should look at small and midsize PR agencies in a more positive light.
Smaller teams = increased agility
A boutique PR agency has a smaller team. But don’t take this to be a weakness. Small teams pack a bigger punch.
With their combined resourcefulness and creativity, these firms are more capable of coming up with strategies on the spot that are based on known outcomes. There’s no ramp-up or three months of research. This is especially important during times of crisis.
Crisis aversion is one of the main responsibilities of a PR agency. When there is an internal storm, team members need to communicate effectively, quickly, and come up with plans of action to avert further disasters.
A compact team will find it easier to do this, with the lines of communication among them shorter and stronger – unlike in bigger teams, where important memos are sometimes, ironically, lost in communication.
Additionally, given the number of employees at a small firm, your company will get attention from the founder of the company to the intern. Unlike big firms, where it’s difficult to get in touch with senior-level employees, you can directly get in touch with the senior management at a boutique PR firm.
You benefit from a smart mix of experience and talent
Boutique agencies sometimes have a secret weapon that gives them a competitive edge. Industry professionals like journalists and former brand managers at big brands switch career paths and make their way into the public relations industry.
They have spent years working on the other side of the coin, therefore know what works and what does not—like an insider who is an expert on the know-how of the other side. They have a lot more to offer small agencies and are a big advantage.
Small PR firms are also more open to taking risks, letting entry-level employees pitch fresh ideas, and come up with campaigns that are completely original and not borrowed from campaigns that have worked before.
You get exactly what you need
A PR team always works in tandem with the clients’ team. It’s important to find the right team with whom you have a chemistry, a shared vision on how to achieve common goals.
In boutique agencies, this team is likely to remain the same throughout the process – right from pitching an idea to wrapping up a campaign.
In bigger agencies, it is not unusual to suddenly see new faces halfway through the campaign planning process. This could lead to ineffective communications, roadblocks, and other setbacks that could have been avoided.
Getting to know all the team members of small agencies nurtures a sense of understanding, teamwork, and a good business relationship. Further, some smaller companies do not need year-long contracts to get what they need from a PR firm. A boutique is much more likely to be open to a specific project or shorter campaign.
Ultimately, when hiring a PR agency, take into consideration your budget, what tasks you need to get done, and how much value you place on office culture.
Boutique agencies, despite less manpower, have more brainpower – and their flexibility means they can more easily put it to work for you, irrespective of the size of your company.
It’s possible to maintain a relationship that is almost symbiotic – you can count on them to deliver their best, and, in return, they can expand their client portfolio and learn from experience. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.