Your new house and partner: what to look for in a B2B tech PR agency?

Article by:Alex Maxwell


When I typed ‘What to look for in…?’ into Google, the first two items to appear were ‘a house’ and ‘a partner’ (and, naturally, ‘a B2B tech PR agency’ came third). Joking aside, the first two suggestions actually act as apt metaphors for describing what to look for in a B2B tech PR agency. 

For both scenarios, you may build a fruitful partnership over many years, or it may be perfect for a moment in time (i.e. a project). Adopting this analogy can help sharpen your lenses when searching for the perfect match. 

The search begins – what type of PR agency? 

It can be tempting to go for a bigger, ‘shinier’ house. And if you’ve got the resources for it, and need an army to support you, it could be what you need. But if you’re not in that category, stretching your means and budget to land a large agency can leave you unravelling more tangled processes, with less direct communication and less time devoted to your needs and growth. 

A smaller agency will dedicate time, energy and commitment in helping you achieve your ambitions. Just like a partner, you want to see a team that mirrors your business level and can grow with you. 

Look at who they work with: see if they’re with similar level brands and what coverage they get. Our niche, for example, is that we work with scaleups and challenger brands. This means that we live and breathe this space.

Where you choose to look is really dependent on your business needs, budget and relationship ‘wants’. 

The first meeting – what are the PR results? 

You probably don’t want to move into a house that has a glossy front entrance but has simply papered over the cracks and the ceiling is about to fall in. You’ll want to see the place, meet the people who live there, and understand how they work. 

Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat here. It’s important to ask the right questions and dig a bit deeper. Can the agency demonstrate tangible results? Does it specialise in what you do? And, fundamentally, how can it set you apart? 

A major factor to consider is conversion of money to time and results. Agencies who deliver by focusing on results (rather than charging by time) can not only provide more satisfying value for money, but also establish a clearer way of working together. 

There’s no harm in finding out more – it’s beneficial for both sides. Neither party will want to enter a relationship and then discover that, actually, their goals, interests and how they work are poles apart from each other. 

Just asking… for a mate – any client references? 

References – whether it’s choosing where to travel, what area to live in, or what to do for a date – inform our decision-making. While there can be a thrill in diving into the unknown in our daily lives, entrusting your business needs to a partner needs the same trust reciprocated. Does the agency have recent client references? Can you talk to them? Find out if the pitch team still works on the account and how involved senior leadership are. 

It’s a case of balancing what has been done with potential. If this isn’t an option or it’s a new agency, for instance, it may boil down to the gut feeling you have. 

Feeling right at home – is there that spark?  

An agency may tick all the boxes but is lacking the key ingredients: passion and connection. You might come across smooth-talking, highly-skilled agencies who say all the right things but that spark is failing to catch light.  

Just like walking into a house or meeting someone for the first time, you should be able to sense it. Do they seem passionate about your business? Do they have the motivation to take you to the next stage in your growth? 

Of course, people and ideas can rub off on you over time as well. Take time to consider your options but trust your instincts. You should know what deliverables you will get from your investment and how you will work together to achieve your goals – and some. 

Using this palette of insights, questions and feelings can help create a toolkit to unearthing your next PR agency. And if you find the right partner, you’ll be feeling right at home.

Want to find out more? Get in touch today or follow us on LinkedIn.


Back to blog