Industry View: How to write a PR brief

Imagine trying to build an Ikea flat-pack wardrobe without the instructions or baking a cake without a recipe. From an agency perspective pitching for a PR campaign for a brand without a proper brief is just as baffling.

A detailed and thorough brief ensures the agency understands exactly what your brand is looking for, and hence you’ll get the best ideas inline with your own strategy and direction.

Think of it as a checklist of the key criteria required to give the agency the best understanding of what is to be delivered, allowing them to build a plan that best fits these objectives. Ensuring you provide the agency with all the information they need may seem onerous, but time after time we see the benefit of sharing this information in order to receive the most suitable, effective and successful pitch; the perfect start to a strong and productive working relationship.

Your brief needs to be clear, concise, specific and communicate exactly what the brand is after.

As a starting point, you should use these 7 posts...

First off, provide an overview of your company: Your values and key messages in your own words. Of course a good agency will do their due diligence but it’s essential you tell your own story, so any misconceptions and outside influences are left at the door.

Next, be clear about your objectives: What do you want to achieve? Is this for a brand awareness exercise, attracting new customers, are you looking to grow distribution or is it exclusive to drive sales? Are you looking for the agency to just do PR, or also run your social media?

Deliverables: How do you measure success? How much responsibility will your in house team take, and how involved do you want the agency to be? For example if an event is planned, will you handle it in house, or prefer it to come under the agency remit.

Timeline: How long is this partnership for? Is it a one-off project or a retainer on a rolling 12-month contract?

Key dates: outline the timings of all activities during the contract period. Starting with when the contract will begin, and also to include key NPD launches, event dates, key selling periods etc.

History: Be transparent about your current PR set up. What’s working and what isn’t, why are you looking for a fresh approach?

Budget: Some people like to hold back on this, but it is so important to be upfront about your budget. While agencies love a good brainstorming session and ‘blue-sky thinking’, they’ll also want to pitch realistic ideas that you can afford.

Providing a detailed brief is the first and most important step in finding the right agency for your brand

— Kelly Marks, Co-Founder of Pure Public Relations

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