Breaking agency silos

How to achieve 30% efficiency gains in your international agency model: The case for breaking down international agency silos

PRWithoutBordersTM is a visionary international operating model developed by Tyto to achieve unprecedented gains in efficiency and quality. The central strategy behind this model is breaking down agency silos wherever possible. There are three types of silos that are unavoidable to the approach of traditional international agencies which Tyto seeks to break down through its PRWithoutBordersTM operating model:

  • Budget silos: The traditional approach to building an international agency is to establish local country operating units. These units work towards their own revenue goals, and local leaders are compelled to optimise “their” budgets. These budget silos get in the way of achieving client communication goals, as clients do not have the flexibility to shift the focus of their programmes as needed. Big launch in the UK? The “German” budget is locked in Germany, and so can’t be added to the efforts to support this key event.
  • Country silos: Local agency subsidiaries often replicate the structures of the HQ. The result from a client perspective is that they have a lead team in their most important market, plus local country teams everywhere. Often, strategies are developed with the lead team, whose responsibility it is to involve and coordinate the local teams. This back and forth is one of the largest causes of inefficiencies in day-to-day international agency life. Insights and local knowledge often get lost at the expense of a coordinated approach, leading to international campaigns failing in certain local markets.
  • Service silos: Budget and country team silos are often amplified in service silos. When traditional international PR agencies build out social media, content and digital marketing capabilities, they often create dedicated teams locally that operate in silos and do not maximise their combined knowledge and expertise. For the clients that pay the bills, this means higher fees and less integrated services. Campaigns that have the potential to support PR, marketing and sales targets are often not designed with a 360° strategy in mind, with silo service leaders preoccupied with their own piece of the puzzle rather than the overall campaign impact.

How Tyto’s PRWithoutBordersTM model breaks down silos

Budget, team or service silos do not exist within Tyto. Each client we support with pan-European communication campaigns has one truly pan-European, multidisciplinary team to support them from day one. While budget flexibility makes it easier to direct efforts where they are needed each month, the lack of country or service silos create immediate efficiencies that increase the ROI of all client campaigns.

There are three fundamental building blocks of Tyto’s silo-breaking model:

  • Round table instead of country pyramids: If a client commissions Tyto to build its reputation across the UK, France and the DACH markets for example, the programme lead and deputy will have deep knowledge about these regions. The pan-European lead team will lead all planning from day one, strategising and designing creative plans together with the client. There is no information loss, local nuances are addressed naturally in the build out process and campaigns are developed in a way that they work in all geographies. As a consequence, content and media execution teams are provided with higher quality input to start with, maximising the impact of our campaigns. We estimate the efficiency gains of our “round table” lead team approach to be 15-20% vs the programme management of traditional agencies. This doesn’t even factor in the savings achieved through minimising campaign failure due to misalignment in traditional international agency approaches.
  • Digital Marketing Hub embedded: Tyto’s digital marketing and design capabilities are integral parts of any campaign that is not exclusively a media relations brief. We consider it a missed opportunity if we did not leverage the storylines and content we develop to win the interest of editorial teams in national, business and specialist media for lead generation and sales support, too. Any campaign we propose therefore includes elements to support all communication disciplines – there is no need to “remember” to involve a remote digital team. Without considering the additional impact we are creating for marketing and sales, we estimate the efficiency gains of this approach at 3-5%.
  • Location agnostic: Our PRWithoutBordersTM operating model is built upon a fully remote location-agnostic employer model. We do not have offices and invest the corresponding savings in the development and rewards for our people. We attract and hire the best of the best, no matter where they live. This creates additional quality and efficiency gains for our clients. We estimate that our leaner location agnostic operating model and the benefits it brings, provides clients with 4-8% further efficiency gains. Here’s how:
    1. High retention rates: Our team retention rate is cumulatively 85% since we launched five years ago. That’s 85% retention in total over five years which is better than most agency could even dream of over 12 months. Therefore, our clients hardly experience any team changes, there is no need to onboard new team members in additional meetings and no efficiency losses due to learning curves.
    2. Client service excellence: Our client Net Promoter Score was at 87 for 2021 and 88 in 2022. Stable high performing client relationships are inherently more efficient than unstable ones as we can plan and run campaigns with a much needed long-term focus.
    3. Senior experienced staff: Our consultants on average have over a decade of industry experience. It is often experienced consultants who feel attracted by our remote model and who immediately “get” the advantages of the PRWithoutBordersTM model because they have experienced the opposite. Experienced consultants produce better results faster, again resulting in additional ROI as we have one flat charge rate and don’t charge out more experienced staff at a premium.
    4. Professional tech stack: Tyto was built for the most efficient digital communications. With everyone working remotely, we had to select the best possible tech stack to foster efficient, engaging communication among teams. However, our clients benefit from this tech stack, too, making our ongoing coordination so much smoother than traditional international agencies.

Silos are inherently inefficient, especially in communications. Today’s modern tech enterprises need to scale their reputations rapidly and efficiently across multiple European markets. Traditional international agencies are not fit for this purpose. Tyto’s PRWithoutBordersTM model is providing clients with a refreshing and purpose-built alternative.