Has Your Advertising Agency PR and Marketing Plan Gone by the Wayside?

If you run an advertising or marketing agency you know the drill.

You assign agency PR and marketing duties to J.D., the new assistant account executive who’s not extremely busy. All is fine for a few months, but new accounts arrive, J.D. is really good at what does, clients love him and voila, agency PR has fallen by the wayside. Happens all the time.

Or you form the dreaded agency marketing committee. Again, the intention is right, but people get busy, clients take the priority, things slip through the cracks and before you know it, it’s the end of the month and “we need to get the April newsletter out tomorrow!”

I know because I was once that young AE in the agency PR department assigned to agency promotion. Later, I was the member of an agency marketing committee. I get it. “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.”

Brands need to be publishers today, and that’s true for agencies as well. We are full of ideas, so what better way to share our expertise than an SEO-feeding content program. All tied to the agency’s business objectives, and emphasizing how you are differentiated vs. the competition.

Internally, you have to dedicate someone to agency PR and marketing who is not hampered by the need to log client billable hours. Track time, of course, but don’t have it count against this person’s performance. This isn’t a job for the assistant AE with extra time on their hands, it’s for a leader in tune with your agency’s value proposition and has insights into the ideal client fit.

If you need to balance this with client work, get outside strategic help to shape the program and to handle some of the tactical execution.

Here is a task list to keep the PR side of your program running between those ups and downs and handoffs.

Start with the traditional publicity preps – update your agency media list, identify newsworthy announcements, obtain media outreach materials (video, logos, images, etc.) review editorial calendars and identify the best contacts with the national advertising trade press, podcasts and regional business media.

Develop a plan for news announcements, including hard news such as account wins, personnel news, awards/recognition, etc. along with plans to share the info with news organizations that would care.

You’ve likely created content that can be used again through a strategic re-purposing approach. Look for ways to re-use the material, such as submitting it to outlets as contributed columns.

For select news announcements, prepare for distribution with supporting images via paid wire service for broader online reach and for SEO value.

Research trade shows, communications blogs/sources and marketing conferences that reach the target audience; coordinate with the organizers to secure the best paid or non-paid opportunities.

For news organizations that offer paid content advertising as an option, develop content and secure placement via sponsored posts and then share it on social media.

Pitch guest appearances on podcasts and consider a signature podcast series to provide in-depth discussions with clients, potential clients and influencers that reinforce via story-telling example the agency message.

There’s much more to agency marketing, from awards submissions to making sure you have a business-friendly website with digestible case studies to an e-newsletter and content program that delivers consistent, relevant, insight-rich and useful messaging via multiple channels to prospects.

Finally, when we return to in-person events in late 2021, look into sponsorships of key conferences, speaking opportunities, and related outreach on issues that reinforce your agency expertise.

Need help? This former PR account executive/agency marketing committee member is here to build you a custom program.

—  Jeff Davis, 410-372-0827 or jeff@JDPRsocial.com

Photo by Oziel Gómez on Unsplash

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