How to choose an agency. (Or “Why you shouldn’t always take your talents to South Beach.”)

Okay, we admit, we love selling out-of-town prospects on the value of working with a small, nimble, underdog agency headquartered in a charming underdog city. (Never mind Channing Crowder’s recent comments, it really is paradise here, folks.)

Vacation in Cleveland

But we’re not selling you this Friday, buckaroo. Today, we’re going to let Steve McKee’s Businessweek article do all the heavy lifting. After all, according to Mr. McKee’s article, there are five things you definitely shouldn’t do if you’re looking for a new agency:

  1. Don’t limit your search geographically
  2. Don’t screen out agencies based on size
  3. Don’t make industry experience a requirement
  4. Don’t ask for—or even entertain—speculative work (TRANSLATION: NO FREE IDEAS OR CREATIVE)
  5. Don’t let a spreadsheet make your decision

And some things you should do?

  1. Do determine what you need
  2. Do notice the advertising you admire
  3. Do initiate a conversation
  4. Do invite the agency to your place to share case studies
  5. Do narrow your search to two or three agencies
  6. Do give preferential treatment to any agency with the same name as a famous NBC newscaster. (Just seeing if you’re still reading.)

In summary:

Brokaw: World's Greatest Ad Agency

Okay, enough of the hard sell. You know where to find us.