Don’t Trust Your PR to an RFP

The request for proposals (RFP) is a time-honored tradition between corporations and public relations agencies, but it’s quickly joining fax machines as a relic of the way things used to be.

In my experience, many of the agencies that search out RFPs are generalist agencies that have a more difficult time attracting new business.  A recent article in PR Week had this scathing feedback about RFPs:

If the client-agency relationship is like a marriage, then RFPs might be the worst dating app ever. That’s why PR firms are saying they’re swiping left on more RFPs without even considering a first date.

Selecting a B2B public relations agency is an incredibly important decision for your business. It involves a huge amount of trust to hand the reins of your company’s public relations to an outside agency. So, why are you handing the responsibility to the lowest bidder or the agency that guesses at solutions for your business challenges?

Getting to Know You

Any way you slice it, an RFP is not an ideal way to create a relationship with a public relations agency. It’s not the best way to communicate your company’s culture and needs, either. RFPs typically contain so little information that agencies are guessing at your goals.

At Ripley PR, we believe strongly in tailoring our PR approach to the specific needs of each client. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to PR, in my opinion. We create our initial communications strategy and media lists around each client’s needs, providing bespoke deliverables to each. We invest time and energy into understanding each client’s unique business goals and challenges. That’s the best way to craft strategies that get results.

A New Approach

When your B2B company puts out an RFP, that means you need a partner. And the best partner will create savvy communications campaigns that speak straight to your marketspace.

When you need public relations services, consider flipping the script. Seek out agencies with experience in your industry. Interview them, contact past and current clients, and get to know their leadership personally. This way, you’ll be sure to retain the best talent and industry knowledge available, a far better use of your resources.

At Ripley PR, we don’t typically respond to RFPs. We prefer to speak directly with potential clients, creating relationships for enduring success. We’re not just vendors and order-takers. We’re partners on your brand’s journey and we bring ideas that will help take your business to the next level.

If you’re looking for a real public relations partner, we would love to speak with you. Just call us at (865) 977-1973 or contact Ripley PR online today.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

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Public Relations