I was recently invited to pitch an emerging and marginally funded company — "an innovative documentary news organization launched in 2013 as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle."
I met with the CEO and the executive producer and we engaged in a lively discussion about their marketing goals, the upcoming fall season, and the PR potential as I see it. Their heads continuously nodded in agreement and, upon leaving, the CEO told me how impressed he was with my knowledge of the field and with my insights.
When he told me he was to see five or six more agencies, I told him that no matter the size or reputation of the agency, he must carefully scrutinize the team that will be assigned to service his account.
Fast-forward one month. After hearing nothing, I inquired as to how the search was proceeding and asked if he had any questions for me. His emailed reply: "We've determined to go with a mid-sized agency."
Disappointed, I replied, reiterating my initial position. "The size of the agency is of little consequence (except as to fees and overhead costs) to its performance and what really matters is the expertise and enthusiasm of the team assigned to your account."
Goldilocks found, after trying each bed (a costly proposition when considering PR firms), which was too large or too small for a comfortable night's sleep. However, in the PR world, oftentimes the smaller agency can be the better fit in terms of experience, personal service, enthusiasm, and cost.