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In our last post, we discussed how purchasing executives should consider how a PR agency’s expertise and experience in the client’s industry sector can affect the value they can generate for their company.
Generally, the more experience and expertise (and current clients involved) in your sector, the more efficient and effective they can be.
That’s because they don’t have to re-invent the wheel … and you don’t have to pay for the time and effort to do that.
PR agencies with deep experience in your sector (in our case, the automotive mobility space) have been down this road before with many other clients.
They understand your audience, know the key industry trends and issues … have solid relationships with the right reporters, event organizers, influencers and thought leaders … and can hit the ground running in generating great PR results for you.
So, what other factors should a procurement buyer consider when evaluating PR firms?
If you’re primarily focused on North America, for example, but occasionally have needs in other countries such as Brazil or Japan or Germany, does the agency have partners or affiliates on the ground in those markets that know the local customs, language and media? A PR agency with such a network can save you a lot of time and trouble and can even bundle these international efforts with a single point of contact.
The Power of Expertise
To sum up the points above, the best value will come from a PR agency whose expertise aligns with your specific company’s needs.
Where does expertise come from?
The “expert on experts” David C. Baker, author of best-seller The Business of Expertise, says that expertise comes from concentration … and putting one’s time in.
He says the expert brings knowledge, which comes from focus. And a PR agency’s sharp focus enables them to collect information and data that other agencies do not have.
And that information leads to valuable insights.
Baker says that an expert agency’s strength and value comes from its having seen a client’s issue or situation many times before, recognizing the patterns, and knowing how to fix it.
In our case, working day in and day out focused solely on automotive and mobility supplier PR, our team of five senior professionals who work with clients have accumulated some 200,000 hours of experience in this niche sector. For the clients in this sector, that experience can be invaluable.
The expert agency also brings objectivity, which comes from its externality. Baker says that companies are in their own “jar” so to speak, so they can’t read the label.
The expert agency is outside the jar, so can be free of any internal biases, politics, or misconceptions.
Bottom line: Expertise and fit are far more meaningful metrics in evaluating PR firms than hourly rates.
Who would you trust more to perform your laser eye surgery, a generalist ophthalmologist who performs one laser surgery a month … or a specialist who performs these surgeries every day and has done thousands?
You’re going to trust the specialist.
Doesn’t your company’s reputation deserve the same level of expertise?
Author: Jim Bianchi
Jim is president and founder of Bianchi PR. He has more than 40 years of B2B PR experience in corporate and agency settings and specializes in the automotive and mobility sectors, having worked with several of the world’s top automotive suppliers, consultants and mobility tech start-ups.
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