What should be included in a good brief for PR agencies?

Hiring the best PR agency to support your business starts at the briefing stage!

At Radioactive PR, we are used to receiving all kinds of briefs from all sorts of potential clients. It is the first step of the pitching process.

If a brief isn’t clear or well-written then it can slow up the agency recruitment process, as agencies might need lots of clarification and questions answered. Or worse, it can compromise the quality and relevance of agency responses.

What to include in a brief to a PR agency:

An overview of your business. The brief should start with a quick business overview, what your offering is and any other interesting points that you think will be useful to the agency. The more insights you can give, the better.

An outline of your problem. You are most likely briefing PR agencies as you have some kind of business challenge you want to overcome. You might be a traditional alcohol brand looking to reach younger customers, or a charity that wants to run a campaign to boost donations. Whatever your challenge, outline it in the brief in its simplest form, and this should go after the business overview. This will help agencies to understand your problem clearly while offering them a blank canvas to provide the solution.

Objectives/targets. This is key for any communications plan – what are you hoping the PR agency to achieve from its activity? Consider timings too – do you need to achieve x by y date? A standard agency brief tends to have up to three clear objectives.

Guidance about your target audience. Other useful insight to provide in a brief is any information or research you might have about your current audience and any new audiences you want to target with PR activity.

Budget. It’s very important to include what kind of budget you have available for the PR agency. Without it, you might attract agencies and pitches that have fees you won’t be able to fund, or at the other end of the scale, you might receive much smaller campaign suggestions when you want to create a bigger impact.

Details about the length of contract. Make it clear about the scope of work that’s available – perhaps you might be looking for an agency to support on an ongoing monthly retainer, or a one-off project across three months. The agency needs to understand how long it has to do the work at a good standard.

A pitching process timeline. Outline key dates for the agency – this might be things like, the date the brief is sent out, deadline for agencies to submit their proposal, a date for pitch presentations and a date for the activity to commence. It will make it clear to agencies what is expected and when, and also help you to project manage the process.

Be direct and clear. A brief should include clear, direct and concise language to avoid anything being open to interpretation. Communicating in a direct way will ensure what is in the brief is certain, so agencies are more likely to understand what is expected of them. Consider the layout of the brief too – choose subheadings and bullet points over long paragraphs, to make it a simpler read and therefore easier to respond to.

Do you have a brief you’d like to share with us? Then please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.