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WE AGREE: PR Daily's piece in favor of small and mid-size agencies

June 6, 2019

Each morning, our team makes the rounds to various PR, social media, and marketing blogs to read up on that new new. This week, we happened upon a piece in PR Daily, Making the case for small and mid-size PR agencies, that we found ourselves nodding along to. We especially loved author Jake Katz’ point that creativity flourishes at smaller agencies because team members are encouraged to learn about new platforms or try new tactics, rather than becoming human robots, highly efficient at their task. 

As the Director of Operations at a boutique agency, I’ve seen many of the dynamics in the PR Daily piece play out IRL. And I’ve seen a few more, too. 

  • Ability to be nimble. Not only is the author’s point true that he can “go to my team and say we’re trying something different without kowtowing up a chain of executives for approval”. Smaller agencies’ openness to change and new thinking can help when a campaign isn’t going as planned. Say, for example, that a boutique agency‘s client campaign has launched, but isn’t hitting its goals. That smaller agency can adapt, optimizing various elements to perform better or to better spread its message. Smaller agencies are where new ideas flourish—and where those ideas can be adapted.
  • Freedom to be real. A cursory read of our website shows that, as an agency and as individual team members, what you see is what you get. We’re not about watering anything down to make it more palatable. That means we give our honest feedback to clients, that we don’t wear suits to every meeting (or any meeting—I own exactly one suit, which you’ll find at the wayyy back of my closet), that we embrace our weirdness. That doesn’t make us unprofessional. It allows us to find clients who value us as people, and who genuinely like us. That is rarely possible at a large agency. 
  • Not being everything to everyone. Ever since I’ve been at Sprocket—6+ years now, in various roles—this idea has been a core part of our identity. We are not all things to all people. We are not web designers, we don’t specialize in SEO, we aren’t here to build your brand identity. We have an amazing bunch of partner agencies and contractors who we work with on all of these things, but we don’t do them ourselves. Why? Because our experience, and our interest, lies in media relations, influencer relations, and social media. As a small shop, we decided long ago that we would focus in these areas, and leave other areas of speciality to other experts. This laser focus has allowed Sprocket to excel at what we do, and to never stop learning—crucial in an ever-evolving industry. 

Kate Moser Miller is Director of Operations at Sprocket.