RFP Templates to Hire PR Agencies: New Agency Select™ Public RFP Tool

Finding the best public relations agency to grow or protect their business and brands is one of the most consequential decisions leaders make.

The cost of an agency is significant but with PR more art than science, outcomes are extraordinarily dependent on the quality and knowledge of the agency or consultants hired. And, because clients are hiring professionals with experience they may not have, knowing what to ask and how to navigate the hiring process for the greatest chance of success is a challenge. 

All too often, clients end up disappointed because of their own unrealistic expectations or agencies over-sell capabilities or expertise to win business and fail to set realistic expectations for outcomes. It’s one reason why client/agency turnover remains stubbornly high.

A disciplined hiring process is the key to finding the perfect match of skillsets, industry knowledge, and chemistry that result in game-changing results and long-lasting relationships. Success includes a search process that identifies agencies or professionals that match needs.

There are several ways to conduct a comprehensive search process:

  • Conduct a search for agencies and professionals by industry and communications expertise using CommunicationsMatch™’s powerful search engine. With 6,000 agency and professional profiles and partnerships with the Public Relations Society of America, Capitol Communicator and other industry organizations, it provides the ability to search by a broad range of criteria to narrow search results or use a simple five-question based search option.
  • Once a shortlist has been created, send a request for qualifications (RFQ) or request for proposal (RFP) to selected agencies and then conduct interviews with the finalists
  • Post a public RFQ/RFP and review responses


RFP Best Practices


While many companies and organizations are obligated to make RFPs public, and some use procurement tools not designed for PR or marketing to manage the process, making an RFP public has had a number of significant downsides. 

These include:

  • Unstructured RFPs which lack the information agencies need to determine if they are qualified for an assignment or whether its worth their time to participate.
  • Website scrapers pulling up open RFPs and sharing them with random audiences.
  • Responses from agencies and professionals that aren’t qualified for assignments.
  • Unsolicited email, follow ups, and sales pitches that clog email boxes.
  • The best agencies deciding not to respond.
  • Time-consuming RFP forms and processes for both agencies and clients that put off the desired firms.

The time and effort required to manage public RFPs and the lack of structure for these types of RFPs, led us to create a new public option for our ground-breaking Agency Select™ tools which provide a structured template-based approach to streamline the RFQ/RFP process for both clients and agencies.

By using the customizable focused templates developed with our partner, RFP Associates, and built into the Agency Select™ tools, client organizations create a simple RFQ or RFP with all the information agencies need to evaluate the opportunity and determine if they are a good fit for the assignment.

The client can send the RFQ/RFP to selected firms based on a search or use the PUBLIC option to post a summary on CommunicationsMatch’s Public RFQ/RFP page, which can also be shared directly to preferred agencies and consultants.

As part of the process, the CommunicationsMatch™ team posts the public RFQs and RFPs in a variety of communications forums to provide maximum visibility with qualified agencies and professionals.  

Agencies need an active profile on CommunicationsMatch to complete an RFQ/RFP. Responding to the questions incorporated into the form provides the information the client needs to take the next step and reach out directly for more information or presentations. This entire process is conducted through the online Agency Select™ tools. Clients review responses in the RFQ/RFP dashboard on a side-by-side basis to create a shortlist of finalists. Watch this short video on how the process works.       



As with all of our agency search and hiring tools, the CommunicationsMatch philosophy is to give client organizations a range of options that fit their hiring needs. Whether or not its using the highly customizable search or simple search options, sending an RFQ or RFP to selected agencies or making them public, or leveraging our search consulting services, we’ve got the needs of clients and agencies covered. 

For more information visit or contact me at [email protected].             


Simon Erskine Locke, founder & CEO, CommunicationsMatch™, developed and launched CommunicationsMatch, an agency search and engagement platform with 6,000 listed firms and professionals in 12 countries, to help companies find and engage agencies, consultants and freelancers that match needs. A founder of communications agencies and startups, he previously headed communications functions at Prudential Financial, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank. 


Steve Drake and Robert Udowitz founded RFP Associates in 2011 after observing the agency selection process from “both sides of the aisle” and recognizing the need to streamline and improve the way searches are made and agencies selected from an honest, unbiased approach. Over the course of their careers Robert and Steve have worked at agencies, corporations, and trade associations in New York, Washington, and, for Steve, in Beijing, China, where he opened Fleishman-Hillard's first Asian office. In recent years they have also been sole practitioners for a variety of clients seeking media, crisis, and strategic counsel. 


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse CommunicationsMatch, you accept the use of cookies. Learn more ACCEPT