Public Relations RFP

Public Relations
Public Relations RFP
Article by Jelena Relić
Last Updated: May 19, 2023

A public relations campaign is 90% more successful in influencing consumers than advertising.

Simply put, a well-thought-out PR strategy does more for your business than “just” maintaining your good image. It boosts sales.

To secure the services of a top-quality PR agency for your business, you need to know how to write an effective public relations procurement document.

This article discusses the essential elements of a public relations RFP and information on how to write one for your company.

You can also use the provided PR agency RFP template and customize it to your company’s needs and branding.

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What Is a Public Relations RFP?

A public relations request for proposal (RFP) is an official document that a procuring company creates to find the PR vendor who can meet their specific project requirements and business objectives.

It covers every aspect of an upcoming PR project, including specific requests, timelines and deliverables, contact information, and more (you will find the essential components of RFP for PR, including the template below).

Potential PR service providers can then submit bids and offerings in response to the RFP. The procuring company can objectively examine and evaluate each agency's capabilities and expertise based on their responses concerning the project's requirements.

What Elements Should You Include in Your PR RFP?

An effective PR RFP that produces timely and appropriate proposals begins with providing a coherent, concise, and understandable summary of your public relations project and needs.

Following these critical steps for writing your proposal for PR services will result in a successful outcome, namely, finding the best agency for your company.

  1. Provide Company Information and a Project Overview
  2. Project, Audience and Competitors
  3. Determine your KPIs and Targets
  4. Communicate Your Budget
  5. Specify Timelines and Deadlines
  6. RFP Selection Criteria

1. Provide Company Information and a Project Overview

Give a brief description of your entire company. Consider the following:

  • Brief company history
  • Mission and values
  • Location
  • Products/services
  • List of competitors by market and vertical
  • Current business value
  • The size of your business/number of employees
  • Primary stakeholders
  • Website and social media platform links
  • and much more

In this first section, combine your company information with a high-level overview of your PR project.

2. Project, Audience and Competitors

Describe the specific project objectives and list the short-term and long-term goals you hope to achieve with your PR in the project overview. These goals should be consistent with your overall business expansion strategy.

You should also include information about your target audience and their general characteristics in this section, such as:

  • Demographic info (gender, age, location, income, etc.)
  • Psychographic details (expectations, pain points, online behavior, etc.)
  • Ideal customer persona

It is also where you can introduce your competitors - who they are, their strengths and weaknesses, their market share, PR campaigns and so on.

3. Determine your KPIs and Targets

Set your KPIs and communicate them in your RFP so potential vendors know exactly what they should aim for with their solutions.

Defining concrete PR goals and measurable KPIs in a PR campaign cannot be overstated. These should align with your business goals, so try to emphasize this connection when defining your targets in the RFP.

Make your objectives SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Invest in resources to ensure that project goals and outcomes are well-defined and not unrealistic or unattainable.

4. Communicate Your Budget

Sharing your budget constraints and availability will allow you to evaluate better the RFP responses submitted by various vendors. Transparency can help them provide realistic outlines of what they can accomplish with your budget.

5. Specify Timelines and Deadlines

One of the most important aspects of a solid RFP PR document is communicating the overall project deadline and specific timelines for each process stage.

Dates and deadlines may include:

  • The date on which the RFP document was distributed to potential vendors
  • The time frame in which you will accept RFP responses
  • The deadline for shortlisting the most qualified agencies
  • The date by which you contact the winning vendor
  • The project's start date for PR project
  • Specific milestone dates for various aspects of the project

It is critical to indicate when you expect certain events to occur and deliverables to be submitted so that vendors can plan their responses.

6. RFP Selection Criteria

It can be very beneficial for potential service providers to find information about RFP distribution in your request for proposal document.

You can include information about the number of vendors you have contacted. When vendors have this information, they know who they are competing against, which helps them formulate their RFP responses.

It is also a good idea to inform them about your selection process and criteria. You can, for example, use a point-based system to assign points to relevant experience, track record, cost of services, cultural fit, skills, and other factors.

Get connected with the right public relations agency for your project.

PR Agency RFP Template

The public relations RFP template helps create your request for proposal from scratch because it already contains all the essential fields and questions that just need filling out by the agency.

You can also download your copy of a free PR RFP template to the right on this page.

Here is an example of what a well-rounded RFP template for public relations should contain:


Introduce your company and give a brief background on your business type, market, competitors, key areas of expertise and unique value proposition.


•Mission statement and vision:


•Target audience/customer types:

•Main drivers for PR needs:


This Request for Proposal (RFP) aims to identify the appropriate agency to support [company’s] strategic global communications, media relations, and public relations priorities.

[provide more info on the desired outcome of the PR campaign and any kind of valuable knowledge for a prospective PR agency]


Deliver an overview of your current PR efforts, why you are looking to boost your public relations image, what you hope to gain from it and your ideal project timeline.

The selected agency’s responsibilities will include the below objectives:

• Tell the story of the company’s marketing and strategies, PR programs, successes and opportunities to media across the country and around the globe.

• Ensure awareness, understanding, and support of our work with the general public.

• Build engagement, trust, and advocacy through strategic communications.

• Enhance the credibility of the organization

• Identify industry trends to help shape our messaging.

• Etc


[List the categories that represent core responsibilities of the Agency in support of your company’s mission and annual business plan)

For example:

1. Media & Public Relations Services

2. Crisis & Issues Support

3. Media Training

4. Account Administration & Overhead


Define what challenges your business currently faces that this project will solve. Be as broad or as concise as needed.


Determine the short-term and long-term goals (SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-sensitive) you wish to achieve with your public relations efforts.

Primary objectives:

[Goal 1]

[Goal 2]


Secondary objectives:

[Goal 1]

[Goal 2]



All bidding vendors must [list the criteria that must be met for a proposal to be considered, for example, their experience and client case studies, team size info, organizational charts, etc.]

1. Provide a resume or online portfolio for each individual assigned to provide the services and designate the individual who would be primarily responsible for overseeing the services.

2. Work Examples: Describe relevant past projects and examples of prior work.

3. References: Provide 2-4 client references, including a short project description and contact information.


All bidding vendors must [list the requirements that each proposal must address, such as budget, timelines, and submission due date


[Outline information about the RFP process's timeline and the project itself— deadlines, milestones, and potential roadblocks.]


Specify the budget you have allocated for this project. Also, have the proposer submit an appropriate and realistic budget.


List other documents agencies and service providers should submit along with their applications. If you have additional questions you'd like them to answer, list them here.


The company will review submitted proposals for qualifications. The choice for a contract will be made based on the following criteria:

  • 1. Expertise and experience of the agency in our niche
  • 2. Quality of PR campaigns done in the past
  • 3. Range of services
  • 4. Cost


RFP Sent Date:

Proposals Due Date:

Winner Selected By Date:

Best PR Agencies To Send an RFP To

1. Big Red Jelly

  • Location: 2545 N Canyon Rd Suite 210, Provo, Utah 84604, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $125
  • Expertise: Small Business Website Design, Responsive Website Design, Shopify, custom WordPress Website Design service...

Big Red Jelly provides digital solutions for businesses looking to expand and upgrade their online image and presence. Digital is what Big Red Jelly does best. This agency is the most efficient option, saving you time and money.

Big Red Jelly creates digital foundations that are built on marketing fundamentals, not individual tactics. They work with you to understand your business and audience and then customize a solution that best fits your needs. The blend of creativity and measurable results differentiate Big Red Jelly from other agencies.

2. Back2Basics

  • Location: 6717 66th Ave N, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55428, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $129/hr
  • Expertise: Branding, Small Business Branding, Public Relations, Reputation Management…

Back2Basics is a brand management agency that helps small businesses, entrepreneurs, and local nonprofits create and launch new brands or polish and manage existing ones.

They offer services such as brand development and strategy and brand identity and management to help clients promote and strengthen their brand. The agency works to empower businesses to showcase their unique voice and image consistently across all platforms. They also assist with monitoring and managing brand assets to maintain consistency and integrity.

Their clients include Carefree Bookkeeping, The Zach Burke Agency, Skapar Design & Build and Millam Real Estate Group.

3. Cunningham PR & Marketing

  • Location: Upper Dargle Road, County Wicklow, Bray, A98 HH97, Ireland
  • Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
  • Expertise: Public Relations

Cunningham PR & Marketing is an established public relations and marketing company in Ireland, known for delivering effective, creative and cost-effective campaigns.

With over 20 years in the industry, the agency has honed its ability to understand client needs and execute influential marketing strategies that successfully convey clients' messages to their intended audience. Their expertise, paired with solid connections in the media, helps clients establish a leading position in their markets and secure widespread coverage.

Cunningham PR & Marketing designs campaigns with the objective of gaining media coverage, promoting sales inquiries and opening new business opportunities.


  • Location: 12 P.Nirvana Street, Athens, 154 51, Greece
  • Average Hourly Rate: $100/hr
  • Expertise: Public Relations, Crisis Management, Reputation Management, Digital Marketing…

EXTROVERT is a top-tier Athens-based public relations agency offering a wide range of premium services for leading companies in the technology, maritime, healthcare and B2B sectors.

The agency specializes in high-impact PR strategies and campaigns and is reputed as a trusted partner, always seeking new opportunities to deliver value and support growth for their clients. Their team of experienced communication professionals is known for their original ideas, creativity and dedication to approaching communication from different angles.

Their services include communications consulting, media relations, digital and social PR, events management, and more.

5. BIGfish PR

  • Location: 283 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02445, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
  • Expertise: Reputation Management, Public Relations, Public Affairs...

From the outset, BIGfish was formed around a core commitment to provide the best possible service to our clients. This commitment stems from their agency’s roots, which are not tied to former agencies, but rather the marketing and communications departments within innovative brands.

Having managed multiple PR agencies in-house, their founding team experienced firsthand what it’s like to work with PR agencies – what they liked, and what they didn’t. As a result, BIGfish was built from the ground up around how an agency should engage with, counsel, and collaborate with clients.

6. Phase 3 Marketing and Communications

  • Location: 280 Interstate North Circle, Suite 300, Atlanta, Georgia 30339, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $185/hr
  • Expertise: Branding, Graphic Design, Print Design, Branded Video Production, Public Relations, Creative, Digital Marketing, PPC, and Social Media Marketing.

Phase 3 Marketing has been specializing in public relations, branding, and digital marketing (among others) since its inception in Atlanta, Georgia in 2001.

With offices across five cities, Phase 3 is one of the largest Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and Corporate Plus members that provide high-value integrated campaigns across multiple channels. Phase 3 is still expanding and serving its clients with expert knowledge and dedication to create great results through public relations techniques.

Furthermore, Phase 3 offers unparalleled advantages as they can use integrated strategies from traditional media outlets to innovative new technology such as social media. Phase 3 believes its success is achieved through excellent customer service combined with innovative approaches how to reach your target market.

Consequently, Phase 3 Marketing offers valuable consulting services for both large companies and small businesses alike. Some of their most notable clients include ABM, Bosch Rexroth, Coca-Cola, and Bloomberg.

Public Relations RFP Takeaways

A public relations RFP can help you collect valuable responses from different vendors. It also allows you objectively choose the provider that best fits your PR goals.

This RFP checklist can be reproduced for essentially any other desired service or industry, such as:

We’ll find qualified public relations agencies for your project, for free.
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