In a new article for CommPRO “PR RFPs: Client Best Practices,” we outline key things clients can do to ensure that the RFP process is conducted in a way that will encourage agency engagement.
Here are the key takeaways:
In addition to these points, clients looking for agencies to develop comprehensive programs or develop materials as part of the hiring process should plan on compensating them for their time.
It should be no surprise that these best practices are at the core of CommunicationsMatch™’s online RFQ/RFP tool, Agency Select™, which was developed in partnership with RFP Associates. Our qualifications-based search process is the starting point for creating shortlists of agencies or professionals based on industry expertise and capabilities. And, the streamlined RFQ and RFP templates make it simple for clients to create, send and review proposals. For agencies, they provide the information needed to make the decision to respond, quickly and efficiently.
As we write in the CommPRO article, following these client guidelines for RFPs is essential. “Fishing expeditions, rigged processes, lack of a budget, short deadlines, or poorly structured RFPs discourage agency engagement.”
We should be clear that, while we have focused on the client side of the RFP process, agencies also need to have a disciplined process for responding to RFQs and RFPs. We recently highlighted ways in which they can increase their new business win ratio and will build on this in an upcoming article.
Simon Erskine Locke, founder & CEO, CommunicationsMatch™, Steve Drake and Robert Udowitz principals, RFP Associates.
Former corporate communications and agency leaders, Locke, Drake and Udowitz partnered to deliver the industry’s first integrated online agency search and RFP tools, Agency Select™, and help clients with projects that range from finding agencies in local markets to complex turn-key agency of record assignments.