Top 3 things for Writing a good brief for an agency pitch

‎We did a quick survey yesterday among brand managers to answer the question “What are the top three things you need to do to write a good brief for an agency pitch?”

Move the sales needle, Information integration, Content marketing (Josh Stailey)

What’s the problem, why is there a problem and media neutral so the idea leads the solution. (Mark Watkin)

Understanding, belief and passionate solution. (David Noble)

A fee for the pitch would be a good start. (Gabbi Cahane)

Twitter competition ideas

There have been a few good quesitons around recently with Public Relations agencies in particular seeking ideas for competitions that can run on Twitter.

Running a competition is a good way of building new followers for social media communication channels – it also helps for brand awareness.  A contest doesn’t need to be expensive, or complex but the prize must fit the audience and be desirable.

Here are a few suggestions for Twitter contests:

  1. Short story – include an opening, middle and end in 140 characters
  2. Announce a photo theme and get uploaded photos on the theme
  3. Trivia question – allow funny, serious and absurd answers
  4. Buy a product and announce the invoice number on Twitter to enter a contest for a free prize
  5. Threadless tweet submisssion for printing on a t-shirt
  6. Collaborative songwriting / include your phrase or name in a song
  7. Joke sharing like the #bandfoodpuns on May 17th
  8. Munich beer contest to promote an expo – visit site and when the beer glass is empty the last person to RT the URL wins

Some marketing management suggestions

  1. Hashtag# the contest so you can track entrants
  2. Unique phrase with retweeting gets topics trending
  3. Contest entry added to follower request builds a following/community
  4. Use the contest to relaunch your twitter identity
  5. Frequent $100 prizes beat a big $500 prize
  6. Short deadline contests create urgency

Twitter competition prize ideas

  1. money
  2. music album downloads
  3. free product from your company
  4. a digital gadget – camera, phone, MP3 etc
  5. gift card from a recognised store
  6. a free service from your company
  7. a trip
  8. pay for a service for them from the winner’s favourite supplier (massage, haircut, car wash, online data backup, membership of a group / team fanclub)
  9. Music prizes – albums, concert tickets,

An example of a current twitter competition

Take a look a the Social Media Experiment at Glastonbury 2010 running now which I learnt about from the Chinwag group on LinkedIn.

The Social Media Experiment will take place on Friday the 25th June between 1pm & Midnight, and will feature a number of comedians, musicians, performance artists and live shows incorporating social media and interactive web technologies.  the prize is the chance to perform live on stage at Glastonbury

In order to win, visitors to the site are asked to join the competition group on Facebook and post a link to prove that they are a in a band, an artists etc. The winning act will then be chosen from the group at random in this ‘flash mob’ style competition.

Thanks to these people for providing me with ideas for the list above Trey Ratcliff, Alexandra Samuel, Internet marketing, Bob Baker, James Norris
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How do I charge clients for doing social media work?

This question is a great one and was prompted by a reader enquiry (thanks Kate).  Many agencies seeking to integrate social channels into their campaigns want to know whether they can charge their clients for the work.

Our view is that this should be a chargeable service that you can provide.

First check a couple of things

  1. Does the client have a PR agency?  (they may be better suited to doing the work)
  2. Is there anyone on the client side team who is already an active social media user? (Could you train them up)

And so here are a few things to think about when considering your proposal and pricing

  1. Social media coverage is often time intensive and so a per hour fee may make it look expensive, consider a retainer or success fee combined with per hour billing
  2. Learn how to use as many ‘time saving’ applications as possible (Google alerts, Tweetdeck, TweetLater) so you can cover several client social media brand accounts simultaneously
  3. Offer a strict time-limited service so staff don’t over-do the time spent on social media.  Set up alarms so they know when to stop work.
  4. Transfer your skills into the client organisation as ‘training’ – you can charge more for this
  5. Ensure you set the strategy for social media execution and specify this work separately and charge appropriately

Any other advice you can offer?

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Other resources

Five things to ask a social media agency before working with them (FreshNetworks)

Social Media Group has a template RFP for brands looking for a social media service partner (Social Media Group)

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Top 10 must-read Business Development Blogs

If you are in business development, it’s important to stay connected to the buzz in the marketplace.  One of the hard things is to find a single place to gather all your news sources.  Biz dev can be written about in marketing magazines,  books, industry magazines, online in blogs and forums.  It’s a disparate subject and isn’t easy to collate for easy consumption.

I find two main sources helpful – Twitter and RSS feeds.  If you aren’t using a feed reader, it is really useful because it gathers all your RSS sources into one place.  Consider trying out Google Reader or Feedly.

Today I publish the ones I read most often

  1. Fuel Lines
  2. B2B Lead Generation
  3. Social Media B2B
  4. Creative Brief
  5. RSW
  6. Alchemis New Business
  7. Blowin’ in the Tradewind
  8. Digital Body Language
  9. BL Ochman’s Blog
  10. Web Liquid

I should add that the last couple are more about internet marketing but they often give me great ideas for campaigns and articles to write for CreativeAgencySecrets.

Any more biz dev blogs I should be reading?  Send over your suggestions.

The Top 6 most popular articles of all time

Tone of voice in newsletter writing

This week I got a couple of newsletters from organisations – both happen to be agencies one is in PR and the other is an integrated retail specialist.

HAve a read of these opening statements

Well here we are, more than halfway through the year that was sent to challenge the retail, travel and leisure sectors to their limits. And, you know what? Despite all the economic hurdles we continue to deliver great results for our clients.
In addition, we bring you news of a few new clients, expansion of our digital offering and a couple of weddings. Read on, it'll put a smile on your face!

 

compared to

Rebecca, tell me how you feel about this scenario.

You take, say, 3 or 4 months to thoroughly research a topic. You become a ninja, the world's foremost authority.

You lock yourself in your basement for another 4 months to write a comprehensive ebook. A thing of beauty. The definitive guide. A masterpiece.

And then something unexpected happens when you launch…

*Nothing.*

Will this happen to you? Click below and let me know:

and this one

Priority check-in for First Class Web Design, Fast Track SEO, Web video lounge, self service CMS.  click here
For all other websites please join the back of the Very Very Long Queue.

I bet you can guess which one I chose to read and which ones hit my delete bin.

If you are interested in tone of voice advice, check out Ben Afia of Afia.tv who is a former client.

Social media learning curve

From Jock McNeish over at Thinking Pharma.   Made me smile

 Social Media Learning Curve

Shout! With Johnny Vulkan, MD Anomaly

 Anomaly home page

What are your most recent pitch wins? [wrong first question!]
We don't tend to put ourselves onto pitches
The reason is that we are a different sort of agency.  We formed around a group of nomads from the creative industries – ad, design, tech media.  The agency is 4.5 years old
We set up because we became aware that the traditional agency model conspires not to help clients.  Ad men always see advertising as the solution; PR men see PR.  Anomaly brings the focus of creative minds on the real business issues not just a 30 second ad spot.
We prototyped the business model within TBWA\Chiat\Day  before I left but realised that to make it happen we needed to be independent.


So what IS different about the Anomaly model?

We found the creative thinkers and set out to provide the right answer.  When that's your approach you have a very different conversation with clients – it's their business that you are focusing on.  We sometimes send them away or refer onto other agencies, or tell them where we can do stuff well and collaborate with others who can do stuff better than us.
We assemble the focus of the team around what is needed.  if it's nebulous it's whoever ‘gets it’ or ‘feels it’ the most.  This makes work enjoyable, anarchic and labour intensive.

Another difference is that unlike an agency model there is a process which builds a solution – the answer can be anything and so you have to build the process.  It may be different every time.
We are big fans of starting when it's hard.  It makes you work harder and think smarter.

So, an obvious question – how are you going to grow?
Scale isn't what we want to do.  We don't want to create a command and control network.   

Is your charging model different as well?
Our version of fees is % equity as well as cash and so we own parts of client companies.  Every deal is different.  We never charge for time – it rewards the wrong behaviours.  And so we don’t keep timesheets.
Read more

Pitch us

Pitch us for your content, brand or service

We like to hear from organisations working in business development, lead generation and associated services. Innovations in how to find, pitch and win new clients from brands and creative agencies make great stories and can help your brand fame.

Writing about you on our blog helps you reach new prospective customers.

So please get in touch, remember to tell us what you’d like us to do:

  • Write about you on the blog in our ‘Shout!’ interview series http://creativeagencysecrets.com/category/shout/
  • Guest post – something you write and we publish
  • Niche affiliate offering of your service or product
  • Something else we haven’t yet thought about

Guest Posts

If you would like to write a guest post for Creative Agency Secrets, here are a few starting points:

  • Article must be of interest to our knowledgeable audience – we write about new business development, online marketing techniques, technologies and new business models for creative agencies.  Our audience knows their stuff, so we need you to write accordingly.
  • Marketing Agency business models and management.  Our #FutureAgency blog post series is about changes to how agencies are run, organised and the innovations being made to their operational business model.  If you own or manage an agency and want us to interview you about your innovations, we’d love it.
  • If you want a link-back or to promote your products, we take paid guest posts, but your article (and link) must be relevant to our audience.

Still interested? Get in touch


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Pricing? Get in touch.

Pitch Us

If you want to pitch us for your content, brand or service, start here.

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