Public Relations has transformed into an integrated service offering. In addition to media relations, PR also includes social media, thought leadership, content development, influencer engagement and much more. Beyond that, it’s important to also know that you can’t effectively market without doing a little PR, and you can’t do PR without a little marketing. Other common integrations include creative, digital and advertising work. Collaboration helps all agencies do together what they cannot do separately.
Because Dittoe PR is a media relations-focused PR agency, clients and prospects often inquire about how we are able to collaborate with other partner agencies. This type of collaboration is nothing new for us. We’ve maintained really strong relationships with fellow agencies through our client partnerships and understand the benefits and results that come from serving as an extension of our client’s team.
A few tried-and-true tips for successfully collaborating with agencies serving the same client include:
Engage with Consistent All-Agency Meetings
As external partners, our connection to fellow agencies can be limiting. However, we’ve found it to be of great value to hold all-agency meetings with our clients on a recurring basis, with quarterly being the most common. This allows us all to connect intentionally with our client and their partner agencies to discuss both big picture ideas and strategic plans on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. By coming together as one extended team, all parties can effectively collaborate on new ideas, upcoming initiatives and more, while creating a sense of community between everyone involved in the success of these efforts.
Know Your Lane, Destination
Every agency is hired to handle specific services and meet certain goals and objectives. It’s imperative that each agency’s roles are outlined from the onset so all parties understand who is managing and leading each area. This opens the door to the most effective collaboration. Similarly, defining collective goals and objectives as well as agency-specific goals and objectives is important. Knowing your primary lane and destination, and how it aligns with other agencies’ lanes and destinations as well, makes the journey to success much smoother and more clear.
Commit to Transparent Communication
This has a few layers, but overall open and honest communication between all parties is most effective. Having one or two central points of contact at the client’s organization is crucial to ensuring everyone stays aligned, as is knowing who to include and when to include them. When applicable, cc’ing both client contacts and necessary agency contacts on certain updates makes distribution of information more streamlined.
On a deeper, more strategic level, we are tasked with being transparent on PR strategies and likelihood for success. Working with creative agencies requires very transparent communication, as we are often collaborating on the final campaign to ensure the outcomes meet all primary goals and objectives. For example, if a creative agency is ideating a campaign with the goal to land local, trade and national coverage, it’s our responsibility to speak up and share insight into why that campaign might be a fit for local and trade but not national coverage. This helps set client expectations and/or challenge the creative agency on what might make the campaign warrant national attention.
Find Ways to Resource Share, Collaborate Digitally
Whether it’s collaborating through a project management platform, like Trello, Sharepoint or Basecamp, or using a shared Google Drive folder to manage the most up-to-date documents, agencies work best when we can all access the latest and greatest information in one place. This is particularly helpful for company and campaign key messaging or approved information. Universal marketing calendars that live online can also help everyone stay aligned on what’s happening across the team and on behalf of the client.
Approach Efforts with Client-First Mentality
Above all, and perhaps most importantly, all agencies must approach their work with a client-first mentality. Releasing the ego and competitive nature that may naturally reside agency-to-agency is key to a successful partnership on behalf of our client. Clients should lean on each agency’s strengths while agencies focus on their lane and destination as outlined at the onset, to ensure results at all levels.
Two of Dittoe PR’s core values lend well to this point and the others above: We’ve Got Your Back and Exceed Expectations. With all agency services working together (and affecting one another in some way), leading with a client-first approach is the best and most successful way to work with other agencies.
Looking to incorporate PR into your company’s marketing or advertising plans? Contact us to learn more about how we can work with your existing partners.