Some comments from agency heads in response to my post on whether the PRCA offers value for consultancies.
“I find the PRCA membership hugely beneficial to us as an agency and I think it is excellent value for money. We find their support valuable and use their best practice guidelines in staff training. We use the benchmark reports to monitor where we are as a business and also to set objectives in our business plan. The CMS system has proven to many prospective clients that we have the necessary structures and procedures in place. My personal opinion is that the PRCA is so much more beneficial to us as a business than individual membership. I only find the CPD aspect of my CIPR membership beneficial.”
"The PRCA is useful for start up agencies in terms of benchmarking and consultancy management guidance but once agencies have their systems in place it has little to offer for any but the larger agencies for whom the fees are only a drop in the ocean. Apparently 80% of the members of SMEs, and past start up stage their primary interests are going to be whether or not the PRCA is going to mean more business and better value training for them. The latter is fine if you have a throughput of graduate trainees, obviously less the case during a downturn. However the PRCA's sales pitch for its new business service is overdone. In our experience, it doesn't generate anything except a lot of work sending credentials and information to people who are just window-shopping or have such tiny budgets they should be using a freelancer for a couple of days. The service used to be much better but it is certainly no justification for joining nowadays.
"It is essential for the PR industry to have a voice and a co-ordinating body to deal with issues and threats to the profession. Now that the PRCA has opened itself up to individuals and lost focus it is hard to see it as much more than a smaller version of the CIPR.
"It does offer the Consultancy Management Standard, although in reality its no more than an expensive check that you are operating basic good management systems and have a business plan in place. If the CIPR was to do the same and get public sector acceptance of its standard as comparable I think the PRCA would have a real problem on its hands."
"Having looked into it several times, as a small, growing consultancy, we just don't feel PRCA membership offers value for money. The events are very London and Midlands centric, which is not great for a business like ours based primarily in the North. Although the training courses look interesting, they seem very overpriced. In addition, I certainly don't feel there is enough engagement with the PRCA with PR firms that are not members. Like most business models, they either need to create a demand based on benefits or pick up the phone and sell itself to companies like us. Unfortunately, neither has happened to date."
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog is managed by b2b pr specialist Heather Baker, founder TopLine Comms, an inbound marketing, B2B content marketing agency and proud HubSpot partner agency and takes contribution from anyone sensible in the industry with something intelligent to say. Follow Heather on Twitter @TopLineFounder or contact her via email on [email protected].
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