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7 Learnings about the State of PR Agencies

[fa icon="calendar'] 04-Dec-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Public Relations, Agencies

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Running a PR agency isn't easy. 

Clients press for results and often ask for free work just because they had a great idea; talent is hard to find, train and retain; the pace of change in communications and consumer behaviour is difficult to keep up with, and not to mention how little understood the term PR is. 

The World PR Report 2018-2019 looks at the state of PR agencies around the world, the type of growth and challenges they are facing and suggests areas of future-looking trends. 

I went through the report and wanted to share with you 7 areas that stood out to me the most. 

Here we go. 

7 Learnings about the State of PR Agencies 

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17 Must-Know Facts About Social Media & Digital Within PR Services & Education

[fa icon="calendar'] 13-Mar-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Social Media, Public Relations, Agencies

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The outlook for public relations in 2018 makes it clear that PR has work to be done to be fit for current client demands. 

Social media and digital has been one of the biggest areas for development in the PR industry over the last couple of decades. 

The PRCA releases a yearly report about Digital PR and Communications and how these are progressing among companies and PR agencies. 

Towards the end of last year, the 2017 findings showed some insightful learnings that I want to share with you today. 

17 Must-Know Facts About Social Media & Digital Within PR Services & Education

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The State of the Marketing Agency: 14 Key Takeaways

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Mar-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Agencies

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Do you know how hard it is to run a marketing agency? 

If you don't run one, you probably don't know. 

I had no idea until I started working with agencies on a daily basis. During the two years as a Channel Consultant at HubSpot, I was exposed to over 200 agencies working closely with the owners and their challenges, opportunities and successes throughout the development and scale stages of their businesses. 

From thinking about where the next new client is going to come from to filling that open account manager role, these are some of the endless thoughts that go through agency owners' heads. 

But what's even harder is that there is no one-size-fits-all playbook that has all the answers. The only way agencies learn is from their own experiences or from those of other agencies. 

That agency-to-agency learning is what we try to facilitate for our agency partners at HubSpot because we know how valuable it is for them which is why I'm excited that we launched the Marketing Agency Growth Report just last week - a survey of over 1,000 agencies on their top challenges and provided solutions to them from experts in the field. 

Today, I want to share with you my key learnings from the benchmark data. 

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What Happens When Agencies Start to Scale? Part 3

[fa icon="calendar'] 23-May-2017 08:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Agencies

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Organisational structure inefficiencies, lack of documented processes and standardised service packages, no plan for new hire training and onboarding as well a lack of visibility into overservicing are some of the key challenges that agencies face when they start to scale.

We covered them in part 1 and part 2 of these series.

Today, we'll look at the last set of agency growth challenges, namely: 

  • Stepping back as the agency founder or CEO and allowing team members to make decisions on their own is an internal struggle that can stall sustainable growth.
  • Growing the team, the customer base and the service offerings often leads to a leadership and an identity and positioning crisis internally that inevitably has the potential to slow growth as it expands externally too.
  • Showing the real value the agency brings to clients is a constant struggle, particularly with year two or three renewals, so agencies need to think about developing a delight programme that also includes the identification of upsells.

Let's take a look at each challenge in more detail.

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What Happens When Agencies Start to Scale? Part 2

[fa icon="calendar'] 25-Apr-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Agencies

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Organisational structure and time inefficiencies, service packages development and new hire training and onboarding are three challenges that agencies face when they start to scale. We covered this in the first part of this series, if you missed it, read it here

Today, we're going to look at three more challenges that agencies face when they've grown past five people and have a good number of clients on retainers or long-term engagements. These include:

  • over-servicing but being underpaid and failing to ask for what their worth is;
  • lack of a documented account management process so that each new account manager has a blueprint to start doing their job and the leader doesn't need to be involved in everything from scratch with each new person on that team;
  • lack of a renewal management process and a structured way of securing that the client is happy and agrees to your plan for the future to stay with you.

Let's get started. 

When Agencies Start to Scale: 3 More Key Learnings & Fixes 

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