How Your PR Agency Can Win Social Media RFPs — Advice from Clients

When you win a new business presentation, you don’t generally spend too much time thinking about what went right. You’re eager to get to work.

But how much time have you spent wondering why things went wrong? If you are like me, you’ll always wonder about the “ones that got away.”

Things are even more confusing in a brave new world of B2B digital PR RFPs (Requests for Proposals).  Why do we lose social presentations? Prospects are eager for help, but may not know exactly what they’re looking for. Or, they know exactly what they’re looking for, but you’re in the dark.

Michael Brito’s new book “Smart Business, Social Business” offers an inside peek at how corporate marketers from Adobe, Intel and Cisco approached their digital PR agency selection process. Incorporate this guidance into your next RFP and/or social presentation…and push yourself to answer my tough questions in bold italics below:

  • Maria Poveromo, Director of Social Media at Adobe, shared their RFP scorecard , including:
    • Social knowledge and expertise – best practices & actionable insights
    • Ability to understand complex business businesses and diverse audiences
    • Range of social media services – strategy, implementation, measurement, crisis, marcom POV and training
    • Staffing – will the best employees be available to work on our account?
    • Proven track record and case studies in social
    • Cost – excellent work within the available budget
  •  Kelly Feller, Social Media Strategist at Intel:
    • “I’ve found that larger, more established agencies generally offer excellent guidance…on strategy. However, I often to look to smaller, local, boutique agencies when I need help activating campaigns.” Does this offer an opportunity for you to position your agency?
    • “Finding an agency that possesses wildly creative ideas in addition to solid experience in social media is truly the elusive holy grail.” When you think of your own firm’s credentials, where are you weak?
  • Petra Neiger, Corporate Social Media Marketing Strategist at Cisco:
    • “They need to have a solid understanding of organic and paid search, earned and paid media and the target audience’s online behavior (not just offline).” Are your firm professionals credible in each of these subjects? Many PR firms are not, at least not across the board.
    • “The best way to get to know an agency is in challenging situations…I believe this can be a great differentiator in this space.” Have you constructed your RFP replies to demonstrate your ability to perform under social pressure?


For more of Brito’s advice on how corporate marketers should develop social RFPs, read here. Does the advice above cause you to rethink your company approach to responding to B2B social media RFPs? Why or why not?


To connect with Elizabeth:

Phone: 212.840.0017
Twitter: @elizabethsosnow
LinkedIn: Elizabeth Sosnow