Beyond media relations: Why your PR Agency should be a key player in the C-Suite

Beyond media relations: Research is showing that on a global and national level, communication experts have finally ‘earned their seat at the table’ in the C-suite as strategic partners.

We’ve been thinking about this recently. It’s undoubtedly good news, as we know how important it is that there is a communications expert as part of strategic decision making, but there can still be an additional barrier for strategic agency partners.

If we use change management and change communications as an example, it can be quite common that companies (not all of course!) look to their agency partners once they are quite far down the line and ready to make announcements. Agencies can be viewed as media relations or external relations only, perhaps forgetting that they offer a much wider service and can help with a whole host of communication issues. But the reality is they can help very early on from a strategic level, looking at everything from audience mapping and messaging, to timing and appropriate channels.

It does mean that you can find yourself on the backfoot, or scrambling to make amends to plans when you have an objective eye cast over the strategy and activity. If you are unsure, it is always worth checking with your agency on what support they can give you from the very beginning.

Can you put a price on PR success?

Reasons to include your agency at the very beginning include:

Knowledge of the landscape

It is an agency’s job to know the industry landscape, the audience landscape, but also the wider context. What is happening regionally, nationally, and globally that may impact how and when you deliver a message? What are the implications?

An outside perspective

It is easy for anyone close to a project or company to get tunnel vision and miss potential pitfalls and opportunities. An agency’s outside perspective can make sure all avenues are explored and any potential crisis are mitigated against.


Any agency worth their salt (and any you should put your trust in!) should adhere to strict ethical guidelines. Their job is to help you manage your reputation, but it is their responsibility to do it truthfully and with integrity. Sometimes this means hard truths for the C-suite and this can only be delivered if they are involved from the beginning. Once the ball is rolling, it can be very difficult to stop.

Fully integrated communications

From internal communications and company stakeholders to online and offline channels to reach external audiences. The key is that your strategy is fully integrated and aligned – with the right people, getting the right messages, at the right time. If you want everything aligned and running smoothly, it’s a good idea to bring all relevant parties into the conversation as early on as possible.

Marine PR and Marketing

Interested to know more?Waving hand and text to say 'reach out and say hi. connect with us'

Jenny Walford

Joint Managing Director

Jenny is ADPR’s Joint Managing Director. From winning new business with innovative, creative proposals, to executing them with exemplary implementation skills, Jenny is a highly seasoned communications professional who plays a vital role in getting to the heart of a brand, their purpose, the project, and its objectives.
Her experience spans a variety of sectors including sport and leisure, technology, FMCG, home interest, consumer finance, film, TV, gaming and education. Having worked on both sides of the fence, in-house and within agency, Jenny is a master of campaign development, interpreting briefs and understanding exactly what clients need, their internal pressures and how to help them reach their business and communication goals. Creative to the core, she is always brimming with ideas on how to devise and deliver strategies and campaigns targeting a wide range of audiences with diverse challenges that stand out from the crowd. Jenny is currently studying the CIPR Specialist Diploma in Internal Communications.

Show More