1851 breaks down 10 questions that need to be asked before aligning your franchise with an agency.
Franchise PR is a beast of its own within the marketing sector, and needs to be treated as such. The right PR strategy can be the catalyst to growing your brand from an emerging franchise into an industry leader. If a brand’s growth is at a standstill, hiring a franchise PR agency can be a very smart decision.
That being said, every agency is different. Picking the right agency for your brand, meaning one that aligns correctly with your brand’s direction, is crucial. Here are 10 questions to ask an agency before officially forming a partnership.
1. What clients do you work with?
Asking about an agency’s current clientele and partnerships will provide insight on what industries the agency has expertise in. Granted, this question isn’t the be-all-end-all, but it will definitely provide the necessary information to further the conversation. Asking this can lead to the next question regarding working with a competing franchise.
2. You work with a competitor; how will that affect our relationship?
Asking about a prospective agency’s relationship with a competitor is an important question to ask. It can rule out the agency depending on how it is answered. Additionally, if they have the bandwidth to take on a client’s competitor, the agency will already have a winning strategy and knowledge of that specific sector of the franchising industry. This can lead to even quicker success for your brand.
3. Do you have any case studies?
Asking about case studies is necessary before moving forward. Seeing an agency’s past work is essential to understanding how the partnership will benefit or hurt your brand. If they are only able to provide a couple of sources pertaining to your brand’s specific goal, that should automatically set off red flags when deciding.
4. What are all of your offerings?
Asking an agency about their offerings is extremely important. If your brand finds itself needing more than PR help (such as content marketing, website development, social media, etc.), it may be worthwhile to explore how else the company can help your franchise.
5. What is your pricing? How flexible are the packages?
Obviously, pricing is one of, if not the most important, aspect of hiring a franchise PR firm. Many firms have different set packages which may or may not be flexible. It’s important to understand the pricing of the PR firm to avoid any hidden costs or clauses down the road.
6. Can you tell me about your agency’s KPIs?
Every agency has different KPIs, and it's vitally important to understand and comprehend how the firm will be reporting back to your team. To dive deeper into the understanding of a firm’s performance grades, questions about how each person and team is graded should be asked and answered.
7. What makes you different than other agencies?
This question is a great way to allow the agency to sell itself. The contact at the firm should have a clear and thought-out answer. Asking this question will allow your franchise to understand the way the agency views itself and how they compare to competitors.
8. What do you need from us to be successful?
Asking about success will shine a light on the type of partnership the firm is looking to have with your franchise. This question will prompt the firm to provide their needs from your end – whether it is access to materials, your firm’s point of contact, etc.
9. Can we speak to your current clients about the work you did?
Asking for references is just as important, if not more important, than requesting case studies. Connecting with past and present clients will provide a third-party’s unbiased opinion of the firm’s work.
10. Does this partnership feel right?
This question isn’t for the agency, but for yourself and your team. Partnering with a franchise PR firm is not like buying a t-shirt; it is an expensive investment that can affect your franchise. If you are having positive feelings about what a firm can do for you and your team’s feelings align, then it’s time to request a proposal