Why mid-sized PR firms should develop strategic partnerships abroad

Today, mid-size independent agencies must think cleverly about strategic partnerships abroad. These overseas links will not only be beneficial to staff, but to clients as well. They play a pivotal role in expanding resources, incentivising staff with exchange programmes and creating a presence in the global market. The key is to find an agency that is the right fit – and then the opportunities are endless.

International reach

With the communications landscape in constant flux, these initiatives widen an agency’s international reach and network for clients, which is especially important for any company that is considering expansion overseas. More than this, a partnership can greatly benefit employees’ progression and development. It’s a win-win situation.

When considering a partnership, it is important to do your due diligence – finding a partner agency with a similar ethos and culture is essential. Matching with a company with the same attitude and approach to client work and employee engagement will make the partnership a natural fit. When it comes to clients, we find they are increasingly looking to us as their trusted agency to support them in as many ways as possible. The ability to reassure a client there is a partner agency with a similar ethos and approach on board is invaluable.

Opportunities for employees

When it comes to staff retention, exchange programmes, as a result of strategic partnerships will offer an opportunity for employees of both agencies to work in an international office, observing how campaigns are activated and gain a global perspective on communications services through a different lens. We find that our employees are keen to experience many ways of working and therefore we want to give them as many opportunities as possible – whether that’s the opportunity to work cross department, training in new skills or working internationally.

With employee exchanges, making it available to all levels is crucial. In some bigger global agencies, the opportunity for exchange within the same business is largely open solely to senior people. In a mid-size agency being more flexible and creating an offer that appeals to all staff will ultimately support retention. If employees know these types of incentives are in place, they will be more encouraged to make a career at the organisation and will feel like they are valued.

Quick movers

As an independent agency, moves can be made more quickly. If you see an opportunity for a new programme or perk, partners tend to be incredibly open to new ideas and making them happen – as long as it is the right fit for the agency. By working together on several joint campaigns, strategic partnerships between agencies will also provide a high-level offering for businesses seeking multi-regional services globally.

Written by Shelley Frosdick, divisional managing director at PR agency The PHA Group