Small is the New Big

small_fish_big_fish_smallWe wanted to first of all acknowledge that we borrowed this title from Seth Godin because we are huge fans. Now, say you’re ready to take your tech startup to the next level and you need the PR agency that’s up to the task. Naturally you’re thinking of the heavy hitters, the well-known industry names—in short, the big, traditional PR agencies.

We understand that—we’ve all worked there. And we all left. Our motto is: Boutique is better. That’s why we’re making a case for the small, specialty PR agency. Now, of course, we’re biased, but we also want to help you get the right PR agency. Here’s what we can say about working with a smaller agency, and why we think small is the new big.

Small PR Agencies Bring Big Value

Small agencies are dealing with far less overhead, fewer employees and a streamlined process. And greater efficiency not only saves you time and money, it keeps your project focused and directed. A small group of highly experienced pros gets you a laser focus on results, fewer distractions, and a superior level of service and strategic counsel. When you work with a boutique agency, you’re not just another retainer on a spreadsheet, you’re a partner. Not to mention that when you strip away the layers of big agency titles, you’re left with extreme accountability.

Trade Silos for Synergy

Big agencies have some (ok, a lot of) structures in place that are designed to work well for the agency and increase profitability, such as hierarchies and rote ways of doing things. But that may or may not be the best for you. And the teams within large agencies, which have a person assigned to each functional PR program (i.e. speaker program, media program, awards program and so on), often leads to silos. It’s a less than ideal way of working.

You’ll see it a lot in the area of problem solving. Here’s an example to show you the contrast:

A big agency account executive notes that the SXSW conference is accepting speaker proposals. Naturally, this would be the question they ask themselves: What can I submit for the upcoming SXSW conference?

“But, what’s wrong with that?” you ask.

A smaller agency comprised of super hands-on seasoned pros would handle this differently. Long before the SXSW deadline, the question would be: How can I help my client shape an impactful thought-leadership platform across all communications channels? This means media pitches, presentations, contributed bylines, etc., so by the time the SXSW deadline arrives, the big question has already been answered. The submission is simply a tactic that maps directly to the established business and communications strategy.

Just Like You: Nimble and Hungry for Success

If you’re a nimble, fast-moving start up, you want a PR partner who’s on the same page– entrepreneurial and results-driven. Speed and agility offer huge competitive advantages and nowhere is this truer than in the realm of technology—every day is a battle for mindshare and the competition is fierce. Evolutions and pivots in business happen at light speed in our world. If your PR agency is a giant ship that takes a month to shift direction in order to catch up with you, you’ve already missed your big wave. A smaller, leaner agency is your Jet Ski—quick, responsive and easy to maneuver.


Thinking about how to take your PR to the next level? We welcome your questions about working with a smaller boutique agency.

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