Why This PR Agency is Turning Away Clients During the Pandemic

While some companies are haggling to secure clients during this economic recession, Otter PR, the number one PR firm by Top Rated National, is turning away clients. Amy Power, one of Forbes Councils, writes last month: “Here we are in 2020, smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic, and I would argue that PR is priceless. Yes, priceless.” How is Otter PR standing out amongst other agencies as a priceless asset to growing businesses, entrepreneurs, and influencers? By looking at their core values and strategy, we can gain insight. 

Integrity and loyalty After gaining insight from co-founders Jay Feldman and Scott Bartnick, it’s clear that Otter PR has integrity when it comes to supporting their clients and staff. They only agree to work with clients they are confident they can help. Different from a digital marketing agency, they offer services for brands that have evidence of previous success, enormous potential, and have something unique to offer. The front face of a potential client’s company has to be already strong. The exclusivity of only working with selective clients, means their agency can maintain fine point focus and deliver again and again for their core clients. Additionally, maintaining the limited capacity for their publicists not only benefits their team but also ensures a quality of service that their clients can count on. 

Raising standards As a relatively new and fast-growing agency, Otter PR is committed to raising the standard of their deliverables. They’re a small and mighty agency with a broad range of experience. In discussing Otter PR’s collaborative approach to exceeding client expectations, co-founder Scott Bartnick said, “It’s not just one person in a bubble. We have a full team and agency behind us.” This approach is not only right on the money, it’s a sustainable model for Otter PR’s staff. Bi-weekly in-house meetings allow them to keep PR strategies for each of their clients fresh. The agency knows all of their publicists and writers and their areas of specialization which allows them to cater client branding with unique precision. 

Monthly, they do a full evaluation of their services and successes and put new operations and human resources in place to improve the quality of their service. That alone allows them to continue to raise prices. Unwilling to trade-in quantity for quality, they are committed to further developing stellar quality of service while growing as an agency, even if it means turning down business. 

Major value Whether you’re interested in the Rookie, Varsity, or Executive package, each has an impressive guarantee of publications along with strategy consultation, access to publicists, and engagement pitches. Otter PR clients routinely get featured in Forbes, Business Insider, The New York Times, along with podcasts and popular news and talk shows. By partnering with their clients and their top-notch publicists, writers, and sales experts their team distributes curated messaging to appropriate audiences in a timely manner. In order to add major value to a client’s brand and interest to their target audience, Otter PR highlights what’s relevant. During the pandemic they’ve spotlighted clients who have adapted to quarantine and those who have a hold in the market of remote work, tapping into current global trends. 

Success Guaranteed They offer money-back-guaranteed and month-to-month contracts. When I asked co-founder Jay Feldman how Otter PR guarantees publication, he responded, “Our success guarantee is what makes our agency unique and powerful. Through our established relationship with various media professionals and outlets, we can guarantee coverage for any client that we decide to work with. This is only possible because of our high standards for our clientele.” 

Constant demand Too many interested clients does not mean that this agency bends in an attempt to meet their needs. Instead, they have a constant flow of demand which is good business and allows them to keep current clients satisfied. By focusing on nurturing brands they know they can help, they’ve been able to raise prices while increasing client satisfaction. According to Feldman, “Our goal is to overperform for our clients so that keeping us on the payroll is a no-brainer.” 

Cutting through the noise With more information than ever consumable on social media, PR agencies have to develop the right branding, pitches, and profiles for social media outlets and top news organizations so clients stand out from the noise. One of the key aspects of doing this is innovation. Anyone in the industry knows traditional PR is no longer enough. In order to be heard, Otter PR takes a modern approach and cuts through media noise using tools like podcasts, IGTV, and YouTube collaborations to feature their clients. Working with their growing team of writers and publicists for each client they: 

  1. Come up with the perfect story to pitch to their media network 
  2. Cater media list around their client’s preferences 
  3. Send a press release to a custom-built media list 
  4. Run the PR campaign with follow up and participation from the client 
  5. Field responses from interested journalists and manage any negative reactions 
  6. Increase the value of their client’s brand 

The ability to do this consistently depends on maintaining relationships with trusted journalists, writing top-notch guest posts, and frequently connecting with their clients about the process. Personal contact with clients and between staff builds a team model not only necessary for production but also reflective of the culture of a company on the cutting edge of public relations.

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