When a brand is looking to hire a PR company, often one of the first decisions they need to make is whether they want to appoint a small or large agency. In today’s landscape where all agencies are continuously evolving and developing their skillsets, the differences are nowhere near as extreme as they once were, but there still are some.

To help you understand what they are, and assist you to make the right choice for your brand, here are a few of the key differences when it comes to small firms verses large PR agencies:

  • Size. It goes without saying that large agencies employ more people, but, where brands can go wrong is thinking that this means their campaign will have more people working on it compared to a smaller agency. And, even if that is the case, having a surplus of people working on a campaign can cause things to slip through the cracks, so no matter what size agency you appoint it’s important to remember that the capabilities and efficiency of a team is much more important than the numbers.
  • Access to the team – especially senior members. When you’re working with an agency, you want to know that you are a priority and that your needs are important to the entire team, no matter how busy they are. One of the key selling points of a boutique agency is having quick and direct access to even the most senior members of the company. For example, at Agent99 our Director Sharon doesn’t just get involved if something goes wrong, she is across all emails and meetings with every client.
  • Cost. For the same level of service, it’s not unusual for larger agencies to charge at least 3 times more than boutique sized agencies. Often this cost is purely to cover additional operational costs, and has nothing to do with results. To guarantee you are getting the best ROI for your brand, ensure that whatever agency you go with is able to demonstrate a range of relevant case studies which contain details about how their campaign drove meaningful results that were key for the business.
  • Niche. We’ve heard before that smaller agencies sometimes have the reputation of being too niche, or not quite niche enough! I.e. they don’t specialise in any one sector strongly enough, or they are too tailored towards one specific industry. Luckily, that isn’t always the case. At Agent99, even though we are a boutique agency, we focus on two specialist areas: the consumer lifestyle space, with emphasis on food, beverage and entertainment brands, and the corporate space where we profile thought leaders, speakers, authors and business events. If you’re a brand that’s looking for an agency with a particular speciality, I guarantee there is at least one firm out there that can cater to that need.

Choosing the right PR agency is such an important step in the success of a brand, but these days it is less and less about deciding between a small or large sized agency, and more so about finding an agency that’s a great cultural fit and one that can deliver results that benefit your business on every level.

Agent Nic