BIGfish PR Named A Top PR Agency

IBT (The International Business Times) recently published its list of the “Top PR Agencies To Look Out For In 2022,” naming BIGfish Communications one of the top 3. IBT wrote, 

“We have narrowed down the list of your top PR agencies for 2022 to include the top-rated PR firms that offer a wide range of services, generate leads, and can suit any type of budget plan. The top three PR agencies for businesses and brands are Mogul Press, WebiMax, and BigFish Communications, whose notable campaigns have caught our attention.”

BIGfish PR stands out as a boutique agency that does not operate out of offices across the globe, and relies on the reputation the agency has been building for the past 22 years. We are honored and appreciate the recognition of the great work our Agency regularly produces.

BIGfish PR CEO, Dave Gerzof Richard responded to the news saying, “We’re in great company and it is all thanks to our hardworking team and the amazing coverage each and every one of us gets for our clients.” 

Read the full article on IBT’s website.

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How to Write a Public Relations RFP & Hire the Right Agency

One of the best sources of new client business for BIGfish PR has been inbound inquiries resulting from the press coverage we regularly secure and the hyper-effective campaigns we execute. We see this time and again; great PR campaigns attract great clients. Sometimes though, potential clients invite us to participate in a Request For Proposal (RFP) process. Over the years, we have seen a spectrum of good, bad, and truly ugly RFPs. The RFP process can be clean and simple or a black-hole-time-drain that consumes both client-side and agency-side hours with little clarity to distinguish the PR agency that’s right for your brand.   

Frequently, the individual or team preparing the public relations RFP has never had to craft an RFP before or doesn’t know what should be included. And almost more importantly, what should be left out of a PR RFP. The outcome frequently is a long, burdensome RFP document that could potentially result in final candidate agencies that are really good at checking boxes and chasing paperwork, but might not a good fit for your brand. To avoid this, the goal should be to issue a well-prepared PR RFP that will enable you to narrow down a shortlist of agencies that have a much higher likelihood to succeed in representing your brand. A well-written and organized RFP will generate an outcome of agency responses that should enable you to better compare the agencies side-by-side and make the decision-making process less difficult. 

If you are contemplating issuing an RFP to BIGfish PR, or if you’re simply looking for a good resource on how to craft a strong public relations RFP, below is a guide and some key points to construct an effective RFP and land the right PR firm.

4 Sections to Include in a Public Relations RFP

  1. The Client Brief
  2. The Project, Engagement, or Campaign Brief
  3. Questions for the Agency 
  4. Timelines, Deadlines, and the Decision-Making Process

The Client Brief

  • Brand history
  • Current situation
  • Who are the brand’s target audience(s)
  • Any other pertinent information about the company and brand

The Project, Engagement, or Campaign Brief

  • Explain why you are seeking to engage a PR firm
  • Identify who at the brand, the PR agency will be reporting to
  • Describe communication challenges facing your brand
  • Clearly articulate PR goals and objectives
  • Define what success looks like and expected outcomes
  • Detail the brands’ business goals and any KPIs that are critical to measure
  • Be as clear and specific as possible for the scope of work you would like to see
  • Explain what internal resources will be made available to public relations efforts
  • State what budget (or range) is allocated for the PR effort

Questions for the Agency

  • Why is the PR agency a good fit for your brand?
  • What is the agency’s experience with your brand’s industry and/or challenge?
  • Who will be on your account team and who will be your main point of contact? What would an engagement with the agency look like? How does the agency charge for its services?
  • What is the agency’s approach to project management and campaign execution?
  • What two or three creative ideas, campaigns, or methods does the agency suggest?
  • Define a Scope of Work for the engagement, complete with deliverables, specific time frames, and budget.
  • What approaches will they use to drive PR results?  
  • How does the agency propose to meet your overall goals, objectives, and deliverables?
  • What are the success measures utilized by the agency?  

Timelines, Deadlines, and the Decision-Making Process

  • How, when, and to whom should any questions or clarifications on the RFP be submitted
  • Detail the criteria by which the agency selection will be based
  • Give a set date for when proposals are due (make sure to give a reasonable time for agencies to complete the RFP thoroughly)
  • Share a date for when a decision will be made

What NOT to Request

Don’t ask an agency for free work in the RFP. Agencies absolutely hate being asked to develop a PR campaign or share all their best ideas as part of the RFP process. You should be reasonable and expect agencies to demonstrate their industry knowledge, strategic thinking, and creative approaches to your objectives. This is a critical item to keep in mind when drafting your RFP – that most agencies that are busy with client work, will not be willing to provide tremendous amounts of free creative ideas and solutions prior to knowing if they will be awarded a contract and compensated for their work.

How to Invite the Right PR Agencies to Submit Proposals

  • Do a bit of research on the firms’ websites. Most PR agencies list their fields of expertise, services, capabilities, case studies, and agency philosophy on their websites. This is a quick and easy way to sort through agencies at the start. 
  • Check third-party resources for PR firm reviews like Clutch.  
  • Schedule a call with leadership at the PR agencies that look interesting.
  • Try to narrow the field down to two or three agencies at most.

Another good Public Relations RFP resource can be found on the DesignRush website.

Avoiding Kim Kardashian’s Mistakes

On Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced charges against Kim Kardashian for accepting payment to promote EMAX tokens– a cryptocurrency offered by EthereumMax– on her Instagram account. From a PR perspective, we know there are much better ways to promote your business, through innovative storytelling or reputable news coverage. For failing to disclose that she accepted payment, Kardashian was fined $1.26 million. As we know, from our Predictions– earlier this year– businesses are recognized as self publishers by the SEC on their “websites, social media, and a number of digital media platforms for fair disclosure of information” by failing to disclose that she was paid to promote EMAX, Kardashian opened herself and EthereumMAX to SEC investigations that are still pending. 

While Kardashian is far from your average influencer, with over 300 million followers, brands are still learning the best practices for working with influencers. Although we’ve covered influencers before (How to Find Social Media Influencers: The Definitive Guide, Social Media Influencers 101: What You Need to Know) as the number of influencers on social media continues to grow, brands must remain vigilant about educating themselves and any potential influencers they may work with. Part of hiring BIGfish Communications, or any other PR professionals, is making sure that they not only have a vast knowledge of social media, but also a reliable network of influencers that are aware of the risks that come with paid promotions.

Even though the average person doesn’t have nearly 15 business ventures and isn’t a lawyer, after 4 attempts at the bar exam, it should not come as a surprise to most that if you are paid to promote a business to your audience, and call for them to become investors, they should be made aware that you were paid to promote the business. SEC Chair Gary Gensler said, “Ms. Kardashian’s case also serves as a reminder to celebrities and others that the law requires them to disclose to the public when and how much they are paid to promote investing in securities.” 

Kardashian has neither accepted nor denied the charges, but she has agreed to pay the $1.26 million.

Bottom Line (tl;dr)

Tell the company’s stories, but NEVER ask audiences to invest in securities.