How to Hire a Messaging Agency: Top 10 List

(Originally posted on the Engagious Blog.)


Top Ten Hanging

As the Manager of a Marketing team, I’m responsible for hiring outside agencies for customer insights research and messaging. No matter how many times I do this, choosing an agency is never easy. The stakes are high and it’s crucial to make the right decision. We are here to set you on the right path.

Here are my Top 10 recommendations for How to Hire a Messaging Agency.


Do Your Homework: Keep a running list of agencies and campaigns that impress you.
At least you will have a starting place.


Be Honest with Yourself: How much bandwidth can you commit to managing an outside team?
Know this going into it.


Get Specific: Every agency has a specialty.
Know what you need (advocacy messaging? advertising messaging?) and find the right match.


Find the Right Size: Make sure the agency’s size matches your expectations. You don’t want to be the smallest client, making it easy to relegate your projects to the B-Team.


Go With Experience: If you are looking for a real partner, find a team that has related experience in your field. If you need messaging for B2B, find a team that has done B2B.


Secure Top Talent: Know who will be managing your account. That individual is your lifeline– and can sink a project if they are not strong or experienced enough.


Know Your Status: Know who their big clients are and what % of their bandwidth they occupy. You don’t want to be playing second fiddle to them for the duration.


Be Smart With Money: It’s a major factor and often an agency will cut a deal on the first job. But know that going in so you can prepare for future projects.


Trust Your Gut: At the end of the day you are choosing a group of humans that you need to work with. Are they switched on? Do they have that sparkle in their eye?


Pull The Trigger: Your final decision will likely involve a leap of faith. If you’ve been diligent, odds are good you will end up with a partner you can work with.


In the end, your success depends a lot on your own preparation. I have faith in you; You can do this! We’re with you all the way.

If you need help with brand messaging or customer insights, we’ve got those chops. So put a check mark in our “been there, done that” column and give us a shout. Happy to talk through whatever you need.