+ Point of view

What have you done for me lately? And other questions to ask your agency

Written by Elliot Harrison

It’s been a crazy year so far. With a non-specific ‘new different’ on the horizon and a massively changed economic situation to contend with, business as usual has been tossed out of the window – with many feeling unprepared for what lies ahead. 

As I noted in a previous blog, the obvious reaction to massive market-changing movements as we have experienced this year, is to do nothing. While this may work in the short-term, as the world strives to normalise itself, reality will bite and the realisation to start making the best of it will become all the more palpable. 

We can forgive ourselves if the best laid plans have gone awry until now, but we can’t carry on waiting for normal to miraculously return. 

For those comms experts and legendary marketers we work with every day, navigating the past few months has been like being at sea, blindfolded, in a dinghy, without a compass, in a force-ten gale. 

Those who have made the best of it have stood to benefit. Yet, as the economy starts to splutter its way to life, it’ll be time to pay the piper. 

Questions will be asked, including 

“So, what have you done for me lately?”

For agencies like us, there is little excuse for a lack of results, no matter how choppy the seas are. We have to be agile and responsive to the world and news agenda around us and use our skills to generate results which move the needle for our clients. Whether that’s with awareness, leads, or hard-hitting content, we know we have to be impactful. 

Sadly, our changed economic situation will have been a hall-pass for many agencies who may have chosen to take the foot off the gas while their clients were looking the other way. Yet, as I’ve mentioned before, there is a huge amount of opportunity, especially on the media relations front at the moment. The media is crying out for spokespeople at B2B technology companies to be a helpful, credible voice in the conversation of the day. 

So, if you’re not feeling the love from your agency. Now is the time to ask why. After all, the need for results did not officially go on hiatus until lockdown lifts. 

In a previous blog, I set out a checklist of how to gain results in a COVID-dominated media landscape: 

  1. Remember, the media wants to remain as BAU as possible
  2. Switch up the tactics
  3. Be courageous and relevant
  4. Plan for BIND (Business in the New Different)

Yet, points 1-5 don’t help if you’re being brickwalled. Maybe you’re on the receiving end of some excuses which seem credible, but you’re struggling to get past them. Here are some we’ve come up against, and here’s some advice to counter them.

EXCUSE: “Your technology is just not sexy and not relevant to the news agenda”.
RESPONSE: Change the angle and the pitch to the media. The point is not coming across.

EXCUSE: “We’ve spoken to every journalist we can think of”.
RESPONSE: Expand the list. Start thinking about different angles, for vertical or business media, for example.

EXCUSE: “Business writers cannot understand tech”.
RESPONSE: Well duh! Business writers don’t need to know the details! Simplify your pitch and put it into words your grandma could understand. Focus on the business story you’re telling.

EXCUSE: “It’s a slow news month”.
RESPONSE: It’s never a slow news month. There is always an opportunity. Check to see if your competitors have been in the news lately, and call BS.

EXCUSE: “Only customer stories merit coverage”.
RESPONSE: Not the case. Sure, they help and journos love them. If you can get a customer to speak to a journalist, it’s a great idea, if not – there are other ways to pitch the story.

There really is no excuse for a lack of results. So, if you’re finding your agency isn’t showing you the love you need, maybe it’s time to ask the question. 

What have you done for me lately? 

If you don’t like the answer you get back, it’s time to speak to us – contact us below.