Saving money EU PR

Adjusting to new horizons: Getting more from your PR agency budget in Europe

Part of adjusting to our new circumstances where the horizons have shifted will be a careful assessment of how you are investing your marketing and PR budgets and considering whether you might be able to accomplish more with the budget you have or even having to accomplish more with less. Reviewing your budget is not only healthy but it can be the trigger for innovation and creativity. One of my favourite expressions is creativity loves constraint. I’ve repeatedly found that people are often at their most innovative when they have the tightest resource constraints.

It was with this creative mindset and frame of mind that we built Tyto around an innovative new pan-European model that is designed to help clients deliver more business value and results for the same or less investment. We call this model PRWithoutBorders. Effectively what this entails is building an agency and an account servicing model which is based on one multinational team working seamlessly together across borders.

It means clients get one integrated account team rather than separate account structures in each country. This is in stark contrast to the typical pan-European model which involves separate agencies working together, or separate agency offices working together. Both these alternatives involve unnecessary silos and duplication of effort, and they also hold back truly integrated pan-European creativity and collaboration. We believe the PRWithoutBorders model is 25-30% more efficient than the traditional agency model and unquestionably more creative and productive.

To understand the reason we can be more efficient and more collaborative than the traditional agency model you need to dig below the surface of how international accounts are run within a traditional international agency. Let’s take the example of a €/£15k per month client engagement to represent a brand across three countries (UK, France and Germany). After the champagne is drunk to celebrate a new €/£180k per year client, in my old world a client would quickly become seen as three smaller accounts instead of one large €/£180k per year account.

The reason for this is that, in most international agencies, the different countries have their own P&Ls that office managing directors are accountable for. The result? Often weekly battles between country managing directors within the international PR firm to claim a higher share of the client’s revenue, with little thought given to what is right for the client.

Step back for this a moment

You are a brand that is spending €/£180k per annum on your European PR, but you are made to feel (essentially by three separate agencies) like a client that is spending €/£60k per annum (one-third of €/£180k). Do you know what that difference feels like? I do. It is the difference between how you are treated in the sales process and how you are treated after the champagne has been drunk by your new PR agency, and your account and budget are divided among the three subsidiary offices that will be representing you.

Not a week goes by when I don’t have a conversation with an international business that has entered Europe and been underwhelmed by the treatment they have received as a pan-European client. They are usually spending a significant amount on European PR support but they get told that their budget in [insert country] is not that high because they are being treated as three separate smaller clients rather than one large one.

Behind the scenes, managing directors will be squabbling over what proportion of the client’s revenue they get. The initial excitement you felt emanating from an agency winning a €/£240k per year account will have been replaced by a feeling that you are a much smaller deal to the individual country offices representing your day-to-day. To put it bluntly, this feels like a serious anti-climax following a sales pitch process in which you were made to feel like the star in your own movie.

What’s the answer to this? Or what is Tyto’s answer to this?

Firstly, we operate as one pan-European team, with one management structure and one P&L. We call this PRWithoutBorders. This means that there are no internal competing forces for a client’s revenue. We manage your account and your priorities to suit your business priorities, not our own. If you want to dial up or down a focus in a certain country that is fine, it makes no difference to us.

Secondly, we build one pan-European team to service an account made up of on the ground market experts from the different territories in which we are representing a brand, rather than three loosely affiliated account teams. This immediately makes us significantly more efficient and streamlined so we can deliver far more results for the same level of investment. It also means that we have a much better understanding and appreciation of your market and business across Europe because we aren’t operating in silos. It’s the difference between essentially hiring three different agencies to work for you and hoping for the best that they will communicate effectively, versus hiring just one that operates without borders.

Finally, it is about a feeling. It is about the feeling that when you are investing €/£150k per year on your European PR you are being treated like a business that is making a substantial investment in European PR support. You should never be made to feel like a client that is investing a third of this because you are being incorrectly viewed from a siloed perspective based on the investment you are making in one area of Europe.

To find out more, simply contact the Tyto team today.