ADPR InsightADPR lovesADPR meetsTop TipsWork 06.02.2024

What to look for in a PR agency

Have you found yourself asking, how do I know if I should get a communications agency? Or how do I know if the agency is the right fit? It can be a daunting task, but choosing the right agency partner is crucial to the success of your business.

Any communications agency you choose to work with should tick as many of the following boxes as possible. When you’ve drawn up a shortlist of possible agencies, check out our helpful list below to help judge whether or not they’re right for you. You may also find our PR Buyer’s Guide useful – it is a comprehensive guide to finding your perfect PR partner!

For insights and tips to help you choose the right partner for your next project, you may like to listen to the following Revitalise & Grow podcast episodes:

How to choose the best agency partner!
Managing the Pitch Process
In-house vs agency

Or read on for our checklist below …

man in brown jacket sitting at a table looking at laptop

Things to check with your shortlisted agencies:

  • Extensive experience with businesses your size.
  • Experience working with businesses in your sector or similar projects.
  • The right fit for your business. If their other clients are much larger and higher paying companies than you, you may be bottom of their priorities list. Don’t get led astray just because they have a seriously impressive client list!
  • It’s often better to go for a smaller, more boutique PR agency as they’re likely to work harder for your money to retain and impress you.
  • An attitude you feel comfortable with. Don’t go for an agency that seems like the most revolutionary and wacky just because you think you should – you need to be on the same level as them and they need to think in the same way as you. This will ensure the most cohesive working relationship.
  • Remember that the agency you employ will be your representative. You need to feel comfortable that when they approach media contacts and key opinion leaders, they will be fairly representing your brand and will behave in a way that credits you.
  • You absolutely must feel you can trust them and entrust them with your business’ image. Effective and impactful PR requires a very open relationship.
  • They are responsive to your ideas but not overly led by them. You should be having an open dialogue about possibilities, but at the end of the day, the PR company knows best – it’s their job too. If you feel they are leaning too heavily on you for suggestions, be suspicious. Similarly, if they’re not prepared to even listen to your proposals, you’re not going to have a very healthy working relationship!
  • They have a strong track record. Always ask for results of their previous campaigns and for client testimonials.
  • They make time for you. The right PR agency will always make you feel listened to and valued. That’s what they’re trained to do.
  • If you don’t feel they’re giving you attention or listening carefully enough at the outset, you probably shouldn’t work with them. If they can’t make a good first impression, what hope does the future hold!
  • Judge a book by its cover. PR is all about creating perfect impressions and a great image. If a PR agency isn’t capable of creating a good image for itself, you shouldn’t trust it with your business’ image either.
  • They instantly build rapport with you. Good relationships are the lynch-pin of all effective PR. If people from a PR agency can’t build and maintain rapport with you, how can you trust they will do so with media contacts and other businesses? Avoid if in doubt.
  • The experience of the team and, in particular, whoever will be handling your account if the agency already knows this.
  • The right price. Finally, you have to be comfortable with the fees the agency is quoting (there is a section on the cost of PR in our PR Buyer’s Guide if you want more on this topic!)

man in brown jacket sitting beside with woman at coffee shop

We’d love to know your experience of finding the best PR agency? Share with us at If you need PR support but aren’t sure where to start, download our PR Buyer’s guide and identify:

  • What to look for
  • What to expect
  • What you can expect to pay
  • How to get the best from your agency

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

We want you to make the right choice for your business’ success!

You have created a product or service that your customers want or need. That is an amazing achievement. How often do you take the time to step back from the day to day to focus on the bigger picture within your business? With just a few small tweaks your company could be even more successful than it already is.

We have created the Revitalise and Grow sessions to do just that! And they’re absolutely free. We are passionate about helping businesses succeed and we know that communications is a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals. For even more on how to find the right agency for you, listen to the following podcast episodes!

Episode 9 from Season 2 – Managing the agency pitch process

Episode 12 from Season 1 – How to choose the best agency partner