If someone repeatedly looks down during a discussion, they are likely disguising a lie. There are loads of body language signals like this that can help you establish if you can trust someone, but how can you be sure if you can trust a potential PR agency? Here, Kirsty McMahon, Stone Junction’s new client strategist, explains how to tell if the agency of interest are PR industry leaders.

There are several tells that you can look out for when selecting a PR agency that demonstrate a capability to deliver on promised results. These are my top three.

Do they benchmark themselves?
There are several annual national public relations awards, such as CIPR Excellence and PRWeek UK awards, as well as a wealth of regional awards up for grabs. While agency awards are a good benchmark — like Stone Junction being named Outstanding PR Agency in the midlands by the CIPR (just saying) — what you should ask about are campaign specific awards.

Taking home gold in industry specific categories, such as healthcare, education or STEM, for a well-managed campaign proving outstanding results is actually much more valuable to you than an agency that only wins awards for growing year on year.

Are the people committed to excellence?
The Chartered Institute of PR (CIPR) and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) both offer comprehensive continual professional development (CPD) programmes at both an individual and corporate level. Being able to demonstrate that the team partakes in these programmes proves that the people managing your account take your campaign seriously and have the right skillset.

For example, PR practitioners can achieve chartered status by actively partaking in the CIPR’s CPD programme. There are only around 250 chartered PR practitioners in the world — and two of them are at Stone Junction.

What results can they show you?
Many people believe that PR is all smoke and mirrors. This has stemmed mostly from the fact that many agencies make the mistake of not measuring and sharing results as they happen.

From Google Analytics in conjunction with UTM links to accurate coverage reports, there are so many ways your PR team can demonstrate return on your investment. It’s not cheeky or wrong to ask to see monthly, weekly or real-time results generated by your campaign. In fact, it’s vital that you are comfortable and confident that you are getting the right results as you go instead of wasting a full year of investment.

To find out more about the kinds of reports and trust markers you should be demanding of your next PR agency speak to some PR industry leaders. Give me a call on 01785 225416 or email

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