When deciding to embark on a Public Relations campaign, and ultimately selecting a PR agency to go on that journey with you, there are many factors that you need to consider. For many fast-growth businesses PR is a significant, strategic investment, and therefore choosing the right agency isn’t a decision that can, or should be, rushed. Things like experience, accessibility, cost, creativity and even personality fit should all factor into the decision-making process to ensure a successful and happy working relationship.

Thinking specifically about the financial aspects of onboarding an agency, assuming strategic recommendations are well received, prospective PR clients all want to know one thing: how much is this going to cost? Once a proposal is in place and both parties have an idea of what the campaign will look like agencies can give a monthly, or total, fee.

But looking beyond that, monthly fee businesses should be asking an even more important question: what exactly will I get for that and what will that mean for my business?

The simple truth is most agencies that work on a retainer-based model, where you’re billed for time spent by the agency, will struggle to give you an accurate or exact answer to that question, particularly the first part. When you’re buying time there is no way to guarantee what you will actually get for your money once those hours are used up.

In relation to the latter part of that question, it’s also important to consider what success looks like to you. For some, lead generation is a must. For others, it’s more important to raise brand awareness in new industries or attract attention from potential partners or investors. Traditionally, PR agencies have only been able to give estimates in terms of results, and certainly no guarantees, and that makes complete sense. When translating fee to hours to deliverables and ultimately results, it’s hard to be exact.

We believe there is a better way. At Whiteoaks, we are passionate about delivering ROI for our clients, making sure we can demonstrate the value of every penny spent on PR. Our unique model of engagement is deliberately different, offering clients set fees for set deliverables, ensuring absolute clarity from the outset. With this model we are completely transparent about how our clients’ investment will look not just in terms of the deliverables, but also by enabling us to guarantee tangible results that are aligned to our clients’ business objectives.

The icing on the cake? We offer all of our clients formal service level agreements, so if we don’t deliver then you get your money back on a pro-rata basis. How’s that for ROI?

By Bekki Bushnell, Head of Business Development


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