When members of Linkedin were asked recently: ‘When you’re going to employ a PR agency, what is the most important factor in making that purchasing decision?’ the PR agency’s reputation emerged as, by far and away, the most popular key factor – attracting 50 per cent of the votes cast.
While no one chose ‘price’ or ‘third party recommendation’ as the key factor, there was no significant difference in the number of votes for:
- The PR agency’s size and
- Personal rapport with the account director.
However, there was a distinct gender split in opinion, with men tending to opt for the PR agency’s size and women preferring a ‘personal rapport with the account director’ as a key factor in the PR agency selection process.
Comment: The results of this poll strongly support the ‘no one got fired for buying from IBM’ view. In other words, buyers of PR services seem to be strongly influenced by a PR agency’s size and the publicity it attracts for itself. Personal relationships also count for something – especially among women – perhaps following the maxim of ‘better the devil you know than the one you don’t’.
At least all PR agencies will take heart from the fact that no one appears to be interested in the price they’re paying for PR.