The Traditional PR Agency Model Doesn’t Work Anymore – Here’s How and Why We Changed It

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By Scott Samson

Time and time again, we hear from new clients: “We want senior people on the team. We were burned by a previous PR agency that sold us up front, and then pulled a bait-and-switch. Ultimately, we found ourselves working with a big team of inexperienced PR folks fresh out of college.”


The SamsonPR take: If you’re a founder/CEO, it’s your business. We believe you should take that very seriously, and push to have the very best helping to grow your business. You want an A-team (and only an A-team) that delivers big results.

Traditional PR agencies won’t provide that for you, unfortunately. Many clients have come to us after having a bad experience with a big team of junior folks who just weren’t getting results.

If this is something you’re struggling with, here are some reasons why this could be happening:

  1. You aren’t getting a team that’s senior enough.
  2. Your budget is just too small.
  3. The agency’s PR team does not have the right media connections and/or approach.

Budget challenges:

Your first stop on the path to course correction should be to break down budgets and determine whether you may be challenged due to penny-pinching. Even though many agencies have moved away from billing hourly to favor a flat fee retainer, they still must substantiate their teams’ salaries vs how much time they spend working for you. This means you can estimate the actual resources the agency is allocating for your PR efforts.

Our solution for tighter budgets is to put fewer people on the team, and to make sure they are senior to effectively drive the workload. Fewer people, more senior, with more time on the account will help get things on track. And a budget increase may be needed if you want to make sure the PR is impactful and helps accelerate your business in a crowded market – it takes a lot of work!

The right media connections:

Getting a senior team on board is also critical because experience and deep expertise helps ensure they have deep media connections.

No matter what a PR person may say, connections matter. Who they know matters. The ability to email or call a reporter they’ve worked with many times matters. Having connections that translate to coverage is the whole point of engaging a PR team in the first place.

Make sure your PR agency and team have these media connections and understand what those reporters want to see.

What we do is leverage these deep media connections to help our clients build long term relationships with the right reporters, and we do this by making sure our clients position themselves as a key resource – helping reporters with things they may need such as inside knowledge of a topic, expertise, unique point-of-views and data insights.

You need to have an interesting story, but when it comes to tier 1 media, the story often isn’t about you. It’s about the larger industry and trends, and being a great resource for media can help you be part of these conversations. For that, connections and relationships matter.

Our approach works.

According to one of our clients, “SamsonPR has been a trusted advisor and partner, helping accelerate our awareness and thought leadership with a focus on growth. Their value lies within their tier 1 media approach and relationships, and then bringing together product, sales and marketing to connect the dots for high-growth tech companies.”

The takeaways: 1) make sure your budget is where it needs to be to get the team you deserve and to do enough in the market to stand out; 2) make sure you get a senior team dedicated to driving PR for your company; and 3) make sure your agency has the right media connections and deep expertise in your industry.

And, to learn more about how the SamsonPR method is driving the right kind of results for clients all across the tech landscape, connect with us today!

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