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Top 10 Checklist when briefing a PR Agency

Searching for and briefing a new PR agency can be time consuming and cumbersome. But despite the hassle, investing time now will spare you disappointments in the future. Especially when changing your PR, make sure to double check your expectations from your new PR agency. What can PR do for you and what not? How does the media market look like? How can you best prepare to kick-start with your new PR? With this checklist we help you launch with a PR agency of your choice.

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Collaboration in PR Agency

PR vs Advertisement

Is PR the right path to reach the goals? Even though there is Product PR (for new products launching in the market), the effect of PR is usually recognised in terms of increased awareness for a brand and increasing or maintaining its reputation in the market. PR is not necessarily the cheaper advertisement but rather a long-term commitment.

Clear Objectives

Make sure to agree internally on clear objectives in terms of business goals but also communication goals. What are the KPIs?
If you worked with a PR agency before, help your new agency to understand what you would like to improve, not only in terms of PR results but also in regards to a healthy client-agency relationship.


Double check your desired audience. Maybe your audience actually differs from the potential buyers of your product. Make sure you are able to clearly define your target audience and its typical demographics (personas). Getting lost here? Ask the PR agency for a workshop with your MarCom team to set this straight.

USP & Differentiators

What makes your brand or product unique? Such questions are usually part of an overall marketing plan. If not available yet, brainstorm in your MarCom team. Your PR agency will need this information from you to understand how you position your brand and product in the market.

Key Messages

What are your marketing messages that need to be 'translated' into a compelling PR story? Do you have key marketing messages already set that you can share with your agency?

Monitor Your Gains

Even if you get an online media coverage report already, it might be necessary to engage with a local media monitoring agency to keep track of media coverage in print, broadcast and TV. Ask for advise.

Clear Structure

How do your internal processes look like? Who is the point of contact for the PR agency? Who shall approve press releases? Who is spokesperson for your company? Your PR agency will be able to kick-off with your PR and deliver great results even quicker, if you make sure to indicate a clear working structure.


A PR budget (agency fee) shall mirror the time that is required for the requested PR services. Usually, hourly rates (for small projects) or monthly retainers (for more flexibility in the long-run) are possible. Indicate the available budget so you can get thoughtful advice.

Briefing Materials

Besides the PR briefing itself, think of other materials you might want to share with your PR agency, such as Brand Booklet, Brand Manifesto, Brand Assets, available photos, recent press releases and latest media coverage reports.

Have company details ready

In a rush? To kick-off with your new PR agency, you might want to double check which entity shall pay the bill for the PR services, the HQ or – if existing – the country office? Make sure you have all company details (company registration number and VAT ID) ready and your financial department is informed.

of projects fail due to unclear briefings

Did you know?

In 2017, PMI’s Pulse of the Profession – a global project management survey – asked more than 3.000 project management professionals why projects fail. The result: 37% of projects fail due to unclear briefings, the lack of defined project objectives and milestones. Read more.

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