Hiring a PR agency? Here are tips for preparing a brief

You are thinking of hiring a PR agency to support your product release campaign, to help you announce a successful merger or for other reasons. After looking around, you’ve narrowed down selections of PR agencies to just a few that you would like to approach for the work. Next, you would like to hear from these prospective agencies on how they can help you – a proposal.

This is when a written agency brief would come in handy. A PR agency brief spells out job requirements. It is also sort of like a job description when you post a recruitment advertisement for a position to be filled.

When you reach out to prospective PR agencies, be clear of what you’re looking for.

Here are key information you should include in your PR agency brief:

Background information
Describe the situation you’re having which has sparked your interest in undertaking a PR exercise. For example, your software product has just come out of beta and it is now ready for a full release, you’re kicking off a nationwide tour to promote road safety or any other situation. In addition to this, try to answer the question of “What is the campaign about?” Be as specific as you can. You may also include information about your business such as a company profile;

Campaign goal and objectives
What do you hope to achieve from the PR campaign? Put in writing your overall purpose for wanting a campaign. Write in a simple language and avoid a long-winded narrative. If there are any specific objectives, write them down clearly as well. For instance, specify any target group(s) for the campaign, the markets you are interested in promoting your brand to or other objectives you may have;

Target audience
Let prospective PR agencies know who you wish to inform, influence or persuade;

Engagement period
How long do you intend to engage the PR agency for? List down the start and end dates if possible;


Describe what success is for you and how do you plan to measure success of the desired PR campaign. If there is any specific measurement method you would like to use, state it in your brief write-up too;


Highlight your budget allocation. If no specific amount available you may give a range of the amount you are willing to spend; and,

Special requirements or instructions
In your brief, make room for any special requirement or instruction you may have. For instance, a requirement to have all PR proposals to be submitted in a certain file format, deadlines the prospective agencies need to be aware of or any other requirement or instruction to help the hiring process runs smoothly.

In conclusion, a well-thought-out agency brief can make a difference in what you’d be presented with in a PR proposal. So, when you think of hiring an outside PR counsel or agency, set aside some time to work on a proper brief.


By Kam Hashim, consultant at Hashim Communications

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