by Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Write it down
It is important that you have a clear, written statement of what objectives you are trying to achieve. You should follow this up with a written agreement about how they are able to be achieved. Without that clarity, you have no protection if the PR agency fails to deliver what you want.
Are you launching a new product? Crowdfunding half a million dollars? Launching an Initial Public Offering? Raising awareness of cycling hazards? Encouraging older people to have their flu jab?
Try to think in terms of what you want to achieve for your organisation, rather than what activities you want a PR consultant or agency to undertake for you. Ensure your brief identifies your business or other objectives. Avoid being prescriptive about what you want done and how you want it done – a good PR firm will be able to respond imaginatively to the brief and suggest ways of meeting it.
You will generally get the best value from PR by involving a trained professional at an early stage in planning and development, even if most of the PR activity does not take place until later in the project. If you leave the PR element until late in your plans, you may find that you are not starting off in the right place and are not giving your professional advisors the scope they need to deliver the best results for you.
Budgets and fees
Be as clear as you can about how much money you have to spend, and whether your budget is for professional fees only (with campaign costs additional) or whether it includes both fees and costs. Some clients agree a monthly retainer with their agency at an agreed average number of hours; work above this threshold is billed at an agreed rate. Other clients set a fixed fee for a project or campaign, and the agency delivers an agreed plan of work for that fee.
Fees vary widely across the sector. The best agency for you will depend on the nature and scope of the work you need done, the target publics, and the tactics involved.
You should include any time constraints in the brief you prepare. If you try to get more done in less time, you will get less value from your PR work even though you pay more for it. PR is generally more effective when it has plenty of time to make an impact and influence your stakeholders.
Extract from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations guide for Clients
Hong Kong, May 2018 – Cred Communications has announced a new client win – the British Council in Hong Kong. The UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities has hired Cred Communications to publicise their event SPARK: the Science and Art of Creativity, a British Council Festival of Ideas, which will take place in Tai Kwun, Hong Kong’s Centre for Heritage and Arts, in January 2019. The first of its kind in Hong Kong, SPARK will celebrate the best of UK creativity and innovation across the arts, sciences and education and provide a platform for the exchange of ideas between the UK, Hong Kong and North East Asia region.
With extensive experience and a renowned portfolio of clients, Cred Communications will execute an integrated pre-event, on-site and post-event communications campaign encompassing social, press events and media relations for SPARK. This is the second time that Cred Communications will be working with the British Council.
Cred Communications was chosen for their strategic and creative approach and proven ability to get media coverage. Over the past year, the company has delivered impactful campaigns for organisations including Global Sources Startup Launchpad, Hong Kong Cancer Fund and Hong Kong’s first bike sharing system, Gobee.bike.
“Working with brands who aspire to influence is what drives us to deliver impactful results”, said Mandy Queen, Managing Director of Cred Communications. “We’re thrilled to be working with the British Council again. We admire the organisation and we look forward to putting SPARK on the map in Asia.”
The two organisations previously worked together in 2017, when Cred Communications promoted the British Council’s Science Alive festival and raised awareness of the organisation’s work in promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education in Hong Kong.
“We are excited to have Cred Communications on board for the launch of our new festival SPARK: the Science and Art of Creativity. SPARK will get ‘under the bonnet’ of arts and culture, science and innovation, and look at the part creativity and innovation play in the sustainability of places like Hong Kong and the UK. We’re confident in Cred’s ability to help us tell the SPARK story successfully through a new campaign that will be both unconventional and meaningful, reaching out especially to younger audiences as the innovators of the future”, said Aideen McLaughlin, Head of Communications at the British Council in Hong Kong.
With a programme curated to provoke and inspire, SPARK will mark the end of the British Council’s year-long 70th anniversary celebrations. It will comprise talks, performances, interactive events and experiences, as well as a thought leadership series and a community outreach programme, taking festival highlights to audiences outside of the Hong Kong metropolitan area.
About the British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year they reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. They make a positive contribution to the countries they work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934, they are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. They receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.
They have been working with Hong Kong since 1948. This year, they mark their 70th anniversary, celebrating 70 years of cultural relations and exchange between the UK and Hong Kong.