Rate Your Public Relations Agency With This Assessment Quiz

June 22, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Use this quiz, created by the Idea Grove, to evaluate whether your current public relations firm is adequately meeting your needs. In cases where you do not know the answer, the Idea Grove recommends that you make a point to find out. A scoring key is provided at the conclusion of the test.

1. Does the agency ask you for ideas more often than it provides you with ideas?
2. Do you catch careless typos in agency-drafted news releases?
3. Do you catch factual inaccuracies in agency-drafted news releases?
4. Do agency-drafted news releases seem to miss the point – often burying important information?
5. Does the agency follow up every news release with pestering phone calls to the media, asking “Did you get my release?”
6. Does the agency seem to think PR stands for “press release,” churning out releases but not offering other, more creative ways to gain attention?
7. Do agency representatives get the names or titles of your company’s senior executives wrong in correspondence and/or conversation?
8. Examine the media list your PR firm uses when distributing your news releases. Are there more than a few inappropriate publications or out-of-date contacts on the list?
9. Do the agency representatives who pitch your company to media on the phone have a poor understanding of what your company does?
10. Has the agency ever arranged a meeting with a reporter and your company’s executives that didn’t seem to have a well-thought-out objective?
11. Has your primary agency contact person changed more than once in the past 12 months?
12. Does your primary contact person seem inexperienced or immature?
13. When you have a problem or concern, must your primary contact always talk with a supervisor before responding to you?
14. Does the agency send a senior executive to meet with you every month or two to smooth over complaints about the firm’s performance?
15. Does the agency miss deadlines or seem to always be scrambling at the last minute to meet them?
16. Has a journalist ever complained to you about your PR agency?
17. Are the agency’s billing statements confusing, so that you’re not sure exactly what you’re paying for?
18. Do the agency’s billing statements show that more time is spent on client relations (e.g., meetings and correspondence with you) than on actual client service?
19. Does the agency boast about delivering measurable results, but then only give you a stack of news clippings that means nothing to your company’s executives?
20. Does it seem like the agency’s heart isn’t really in it – that it’s simply working to get a fee?

How is your agency doing? Score one point for each “no” answer.

If your score is 16-20, you have a very good agency relationship. Nonetheless, we recommend you discuss your “yes” answers with the agency to clear the air on those issues.

If your score is 11-15, you can do better. But can you avoid the hassle of finding a new agency by improving the current relationship? It may be worth a try. Have a heart-to-heart with your agency about your concerns and gauge their response. If they seem reenergized and refocused on your account, give them another two or three months – then take this test again.

If your score is 0-10, the agency is not meeting your needs. You don’t trust them and they’re not giving their all for you. It’s time to move on.

For more information you may find useful, visit the Idea Grove at www.ideagrove.com or check out our blog at www.mediaorchard.com.