Public Relations

How to Write a Public Relations RFP

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Public Relations is a critical part of the success of any business, and while in-house teams can do great work, having a trusted PR agency to augment a team can be a massive boost to meeting critical goals. 

However, enlisting the best possible team for the job can be a long and arduous task, one that’s streamlined by writing a well thought out request for proposal (RFP). An RFP is a comprehensive document that outlines a project that a company is recruiting outside vendors for. The RFP gives vendors a sense of what will be needed if they were to win the project, giving them a platform to propose why they’re the best fit to complete the job. 

Since proposals are informed by these RFPs, building out an accurate and effective one is an imperative first step to making sure the right team is found for a project. But what steps are needed to be accounted for to empower potential PR partners to generate the best proposals? 

Below breaks down the steps that need to be taken to develop an effective PR RFP that will help find the best possible fit for a team. 

Objectives and Scope of Work

  • To start, clearly define the objective and scope of work that the organization wants to achieve through its public relations efforts. The objectives should be as specific as possible, and outline what expectations there are for a potential agency partner. Meanwhile, the scope should lay out the high level expectations for what work will be used to reach those objectives, such as media relations, crisis management, event planning, social media management, or more depending on the project. This provides a quick snapshot for agencies to know what work will need to be done to accomplish what goals. 

Background Information

  • Afterwards, providing background information on the organization will help to provide a full picture to potential partners and further help inform their strategies. This should include as much about the history of the company and its executive team, color about the industry that is being served, makeup of the target audience, and any current or past PR initiatives that were undertaken. While strong PR teams will continue to research the company and the industry throughout the process, giving more details will help to expedite that onboarding and get more valuable plans sooner. 

Desired Outcomes and Deliverables

  • Next, list the desired results that are expected from working with the PR agency, such as increased media coverage, improved brand reputation, or even higher website traffic. These outcomes should tie directly back into the goals and objectives previously established. It’s also helpful to lay out the anticipated project deliverables as well, such as if press releases, media placements, regular metrics and monitoring reports, or social calendars are expected as a part of the project. 

Key Themes and Messages

  • Break down some of the key themes and messages that are to be conveyed to the target audience throughout the length of the project. Depending on the organization, a PR agency may help develop new messages from scratch, but even sharing some base messages like a mission/vision statement, or any high level sentiments that need to be distributed. This will help the agency begin to think about proper channels for message distribution, what other work will need to be done to flesh out messages, and determine what tactics could be most effective to distribute them. 

Timeline

  • A timeline should be developed for when the project is targeted to be started and completed. Filling this in with additional details, such as any important intermittent milestones or deadlines between the beginning and end of the project. Having this information helps an agency assess its current availability and capacity to help fulfill a project. 

Budget

  • In order to help the agency propose something that an organization can even afford, lay out what the budget parameters are. These figures don’t need to be set in stone, but even having a higher and lower range to work with can help to streamline the next steps. Without the budget, proposals can range far outside what is possible, leaving both parties unable to move forward. 

Proposal Format

  • To help the agency prepare an actionable presentation that will help to meet the company’s needs, share the required format for all submissions, including what sections are to be included (such as executive summaries, methodologies, team qualifications and backgrounds, case studies, cost breakdowns, etc.). If all proposals are submitted in the same format, it’ll also make it that much easier to compare all that come in. 

Appendices

  • Include any additional information that is relevant to the proposal and future PR activities. This could include branding guidelines or materials used in other PR campaigns in the past, whether deemed successful or not. Again, the more information that agencies have in-hand, the better. 

Contact Information

  • The RFP should close with the contact information for anybody at the organization that is responsible for the project or the proposal process itself. This should include clearly marking out where questions or clarifications should be directed if allowed, and if there are different point people for questions on different topics. Lastly, also make it clear who on the team should receive the finished proposal, and who will be presented to. This helps to ensure smooth communications during the proposal, and make sure presentation materials are as effective as possible. 

What Can a PR Agency Bring to a Company?

Is a PR agency even necessary to implement a campaign and orchestrate it? While internal teams can be talented and put forward strong efforts, having a dedicated group of experienced leaders who know a business and know an industry front and back to both inform strategy and act on it can be invaluable. Whether building a brand from scratch, changing perception in the media, or just trying to increase  sales and market share, hiring a PR agency can be immensely helpful for a business. 

How to Show Value of PR to the Executive Team?

Once a PR strategy is underway, it’s important to be able to show its value to company leadership. It can often be difficult to clearly measure true value, but starting out a project beforehand with measurable goals, agreed upon by all key stakeholders, will help make sure that the whole team is on the same page. By agreeing on what will be monitored, PR teams will be able to report back effectively, and show their true value. 

Our Approach at Channel V Media

We are intent on building up strategies together with trusted partners, not just clients. We are passionate about the industries we operate in and want to help businesses with innovative technologies succeed. Get in touch with our team to talk through your goals, what questions you need to ask when establishing a partnership, and how a trusted PR team in the  technology space can help you move forward.

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