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The Top Ten Benefits of Working with a Mid-Sized PR Agency

An Openly Biased Account of Why Size Matters for both Agency Talent and Clients

By Adriana Lurz | Jul 24 2023

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Let me start by saying that I’m biased. As a journalism major, that’s hard for me to admit, but this time it’s true.

I have worked in the PR industry for 22 years, and throughout my career I’ve chosen to work for mid-sized communications agencies. It’s been a conscious decision because I believe in the breadth of expertise, value, and client experience that a mid-sized agency provides. I think these factors benefit both clients and the talent working within the agency.

Before my colleagues and friends at boutique agencies and multi-nationals start messaging me, I should state that there’s a role for every size agency in our industry. It can be challenging for communications departments to know what style and type of agency will be best for their business and their team. So, to provide my perspective, here is my list of the “The Top 10 Benefits of Working with a Mid-Sized PR Agency.” 

  1. Experience

I love the range of experience that lives within a mid-sized agency. Professional experience is key, and at Strategic Objectives (SO), we have hundreds of combined years of know-how among our 40 PR pros. But our work is also shaped by life experiences. With a range of ages and backgrounds, we are able to use our knowledge to develop campaigns that best resonate with target audiences. I marvel at the minds around the table in our ideation sessions: what each person contributes to the team and to program development is unique, and often surprising. We are always learning, which enables us to develop original, innovative, impactful programs for our clients. Examples are numerous and include everything from breaking poo taboos to promote digestive health to powering an electric guitar with a new EV.

2. Client Care 

Client care is key at SO. I believe our size is an advantage in this area as the same team that delivers experience, ideas and effective campaigns also fosters meaningful relationships with our clients. We never lose focus of our clients’ objectives and our hands-on team is always available to provide insight and counsel. We take pride in our attention to detail and we’re pleased that reviews and testimonials prove that our clients appreciate it too. 

3. Focus on Talent

Investing in our team is a top priority. Our agency size allows the capacity and time to grow our talent through collaboration, mentorship and coaching. We have purposeful activities in-office to help train and guide the PR pros of the future. We have the clout to attract guest speakers, and our position as industry leaders provides unique networking opportunities. We believe in learning and improving every day with an emphasis on those who can be marginalized within the business.

We know talent performs best when motivated, challenged and compensated fairly. We pay all interns and set salaries according to the industry guidelines outlined by the CCPRF (Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms). We provide bonus days for going above and beyond, and work in a hybrid model that works for our team and our clients. We also celebrate our successes and wins with BBQs, lunches, champagne toasts, and other activities to keep talent engaged and having fun! 

4. In-House Expertise

While our diverse team is our “secret sauce” for successful strategies, our in-house talent pool puts our creativity into action, allowing us to avoid out-sourcing. Whether that’s media training with specialists who’ve worked with some of Canada’s best-known leaders, or crisis experts with years of experience helping brands maintain their reputation…we can do that. We have experts who excel at event organization and those who understand the value of traditional media relations in this ever-changing world. Others are content creators, influencer negotiators, and digital experts who are extensions of our clients’ businesses. Having all of this talent under one roof is a huge benefit as it streamlines activities and provides immediate support for unforeseen needs that may arise.

5. Flexibility

As a mid-sized agency, we can tailor our strategies and budgets to client needs, and assign the right level of talent to work within the allocated resources. If budgets or activities change, we are nimble enough to shift gears, whether that’s during planning or on a moment’s notice. We can size up. We can size down. We can juggle resources as necessary to get the best results.

6. Values We Believe In

As an independent agency, our values are OUR values. They are not dictated by anyone but those who work within our agency. As the landscape of work and life shift, our values also evolve to reflect what’s important to our team, while still ensuring that we’re meeting client needs and expectations. The Strategic Objectives Values include:

  • We are Original
  • We are Trusted
  • We are Caring
  • We Celebrate Differences – We do this in many ways including our very own SOAR (Strategic Objectives Alliance for Representation) and by being a women-owned business certified by Women Business Enterprises Canada
  • We are Fun!

7. Established 

Being established is not synonymous with being boring. An established, mid-sized agency with a strong team and award-winning background provides the stability that can promote creativity. This is key for clients and talent. It means that we will be here today, and tomorrow. With a strong heritage, clients can be confident that the founding principles of our agency will remain, even if the players may shift from time to time.

8. License to be Bold 

A mid-sized agency has a certain license to be bold and daring. Our history of success and our strong media and influencer contacts give us leeway to try new things. And we do. Often. Whether it’s speaking in a new, empathetic way to those experiencing sex trafficking or being bold enough to ask NHL players and sports celebrities to endorse a client for free, we like to break the mold. We have earned this right, but we know success lies in remaining true to our clients’ personalities and objectives.

9. Thought Leadership

With agency size comes a certain degree of credibility which gives SO the opportunity to collaborate with other communications leaders to improve our agency and our industry at large. We are proud to be a founding partner of CCPRF, the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms, which is a national organization of leading public relations consulting agencies operating in Canada. Through this organization we are able to tap into industry-setting insights and work collaboratively to evolve the future of the sector for the benefit of our clients and our talent.

10. Support 

At the end of the day, we are all human. Each of us is dealing with life’s realities and things inevitably happen. And the big things are often out of our control. I take comfort knowing that in a mid-sized agency there is always a team available to offer support – in every sense of the word. We are like a family.

For clients, this means reshaping a campaign on the fly. It means shifting launch dates to accommodate business or personal issues. It means having back-up, even if you’re the only one in your department.

For our talent, it means having guidance to expand their abilities with confidence. It means being able to ask for help – and receiving it – when feeling overwhelmed, for whatever reason. It means having someone to talk to who can offer relevant advice.

We all need support. No person is an island. No campaign runs on its own. But the support of a diverse team makes anything and everything possible.

So there it is. My openly biased account of the benefits of a mid-sized PR agency. I can tell you that our mid-sized agency has found a rhythm that produces results. It’s evident in our long-standing clients and our lobby filled with awards. But I also see the advantages of being mid-sized every time a new team member excels or when a bold new idea takes flight. Paraphrasing the immortal words of Goldilocks, I love that we’re not too big and not too small… but that we’re “just right.” 

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