Brands, take note: What to really look for in a Public Relations agency
Posted on 2024 Mar,05  | By Baha Hamadi, Keel Comms

Finding the right Public Relations (PR) agency is like discovering your guiding star. That’s because every word, and every action, could either propel your brand forward or leave it adrift. Baha Hamadi, Managing Director of Dubai-based Keel Comms, shares his tips on how to identify the right and most fitting PR agency for your brand needs.

Imagine your brand as a ship embarking on a grand voyage, with ambitions to conquer new horizons and captivate audiences far and wide. Now, picture your PR agency as the seasoned captain, charting the course, navigating obstacles, and harnessing the winds of media influence to propel your vessel toward success, ensuring it stays on an even keel, even in the roughest of seas.

But in a sea teeming with options, how do you discern the true sailors from those offering flashy promises? What qualities do you consider when entrusting your brand's narrative, reputation, and trajectory to a skilled navigator who can steer you through the tumultuous waters of public perception?


Don’t trust the pitch

Avoid agencies that mastered the art of polished pitching. Insist that those pitching also handle your account daily.


Every client is a key account

Sign an agency that gives you the attention you deserve, irrespective of your retainer size.


Value for money

Select an agency that offers real value for money without sacrificing quality. Flashy agency names often mean exorbitant retainers and hollow promises.


Big talk vs. action

Avoid agencies that only focus on ‘selling strategy’. The devil is in the execution.


Journalism backbone

Partner with an agency rooted in journalism, possessing a mindset akin to a media outlet.


Strategic trials

Embrace the unknown with an agency that pushes boundaries through calculated experimentation.



Go for the agency that rejects cookie-cutter content methods. The assembly line approach to content development and distribution is over.


Media without borders

Engage an agency with a global media reach. With the right content, no media outlet on Earth is out of bounds.


One team

Sync with an agency that acts as an extension of your crew, ensuring flexible and authentic services.



Opt for an agency that is willing to adjust deliverables, billing, and more to meet your needs.



Work with an agency guided by a moral compass, sparing you from unnecessary fees.


Round-the-clock availability

Team up with an agency that gleefully serves you 24/7, ensuring support is available as and when needed.


A sense of ownership

Find an agency that turns commitment into action, taking full ownership of every task.


Genuine care

Dive into the nitty-gritties with an agency that nurtures your brand like its own.


Honest advice

Trust the agency that challenges your ideas and guides your vision with integrity.


Languages & cultural nuances

Choose bilingual speakers and writers who discern the subtleties of the MENA region.


Crisis communications

Pick an agency with a proven track record in crisis management, equipped to handle any unforeseen challenges with professionalism and efficiency.


Thought leadership

Collaborate with an agency that understands the importance of positioning you and your brand as an authority on key topics within your industry.



Onboard an agency equipped to scale its services according to your evolving needs, whether you're a startup looking to grow rapidly or an established enterprise expanding into new markets.


Strategic partnerships

Commission an agency that cultivates strategic partnerships with complementary brands and influencers, amplifying the reach and impact of your campaigns.


Agile methodology

Align with an agency that embraces agile project management principles, enabling quick adaptation to changing market dynamics and client feedback.


ESG commitments

Settle for an agency dedicated to good Environmental, Social and Governance practices, pushing both its own agenda and its clients' towards a better tomorrow.



Join hands with an agency that prioritizes transparency, openness and accountability, fostering clear communication and ethical practices.


Purpose Relations

Seek out a Purpose Relations agency. For instance, consider agencies that actively participate in initiatives like the United Nations Global Compact, demonstrating their commitment to ethical business practices and sustainable development goals.