Occasionally it is necessary to collaborate with external experts or communication agency, whose expertise is in planning awareness campaigns. One of the benefits of working with outside experts is better campaign results and more efficient work approach. At the same time, it can be challenging to manage outside experts, it requires dedicated team to manage and brief external help about the project background and objectives, while ensuring in the process that all deliverables are being successfully proposed and executed by the experts or agency. It is equally important to select the right agency or experts for the assignment, the process of managing external providers starts with the selection of experts through so-called bidding or pitching procedure.
External provider selection
- Create a list of communication agencies or other professionals with the experience in raising awareness campaigns. Colleagues can be a good resource for recommendations, especially if they have positive working experience with external experts on the previous projects.
- After creating a list, do a desktop research about the agencies and their core businesses.
- Ask agencies or external experts for work case studies referencing to raising awareness campaigns.
- In preliminary contact with agency or external experts it is important to be aware about their billing structure, for example how they bill their time needed to complete the project. Also, overall timeline needed for the project is important for the external experts be aware of, if they can accept the project within required time frame.
Writing a request for proposal or creative brief for the external providers
- Provide clear and the most crucial information about the organization, topic assignment, challenges and overall goals that need to be achieved in the campaign. Information shared with external experts needs to be carefully selected, as overburdening them with lots of information can lead to confusion.
- Acronyms or terms used in internal commutation should not be included in the brief for external experts, as their meaning is not recognized outside of the organization.
- Communicate the specific campaign objectives that campaign needs to accomplish. Along with the objectives, all deliverables within campaign should be clearly stated with the timeline needed for their execution.
- Define target groups, there can be more than one target group. All target groups need to be profiled; one option is creating a profile of persona that is a typical representative of that group. Persona profile should include demographic and psychographic data, as well as their motives, potential obstacles, current challenges, or present knowledge gaps.
- Specify key messages that need to be communicated in the campaign.
- Specify campaign timeline, budget for the external experts and media budget.
- Incorporate section where pitch attendees can include samples of their work, qualifications and their team’s CVs