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Choosing and Briefing your Agency

Creating brilliant and effective marketing communications for your organisation hinges on two critical factors. The first is choosing the right agency, and the second knowing how to brief them well. Without these two considerations the result is badly targeted, expensive and ineffective.

Why do we need Best Practice?

Because the market is changing. There are more agencies offering more types of agency services than ever before—creative; media management; sales promotion; direct marketing; public relations; event management; website design; email marketing; graphic design and interactive.

Because clients are more pressured by market diversity and competition than ever and often have a much wider range of marketing tools to consider.

Because the risks of an unsuccessful agency search remain the same. For the advertiser and agency, it means months of lost productivity, lost marketing momentum and a waste of money and man-hours. There is also the risk to business reputations through a failed or poorly managed process.

At the end of the day, advertisers want a marketing communications partner who understands their business, their customers, and their competitors. They want excellent creative ideas and executions and brilliant media strategy.

The Comms Council maintains that a process that focuses on “fit” and “form” is going to deliver a result with the greatest potential for success. We do not believe that the creative pitch process or “beauty parade” is necessary or relevant unless the client is prepared to meet external production costs. We do not believe it is professional, and that it is akin to asking a range of lawyers or accountants for free advice on a complicated brief before appointing them to your business.

We understand that creative pitches have been common industry practice. But that doesn’t make it right! And remember that the Comms Council is always happy to help you begin the selection process by offering advice on member agencies which fit your company’s selection criteria.

Please click on the links below for more information:

Best Practice in Agency Search Process

Best Practice in Agency Briefing Process

We hope you will find this advice helpful and will guide you to select the agency best suited to service your account and thus lead to a successful collaboration. There is one thing that certainly won’t surprise us however. And that is, that the agency you’re most likely to select will be a member of our Association - The Communications Agencies Association of New Zealand. Does that really matter? A majority of marketers seem to think so.

For one thing, before any agency can become a member of our organisation, it must reach certain ethical and professional standards. And it must satisfy us that it is a soundly, responsibly managed company.

It must also satisfy its competitors and industry colleagues in the Comms Council that it can provide a range of services in keeping with appropriate industry standards. Like any other professional, we believe healthy competition flourishes better when certain standards prevail.

If you would like to know more about the Comms Council and its objectives, please contact:

Commercial Communications Council,

PO Box 105 052
Auckland Central
Phone: (09) 303-0435
Fax: (09) 303-0460