Why We Hold the Communications Management Standard

Before answering “why,” the first question a lot of our staff asked was just what was the PRCA’s Communications Management Standard?

CMS Communications Management Standard

It’s a fair point. It does seem somewhat inscrutable to the layperson.

Holding the Communications Management Standard means that we are a well-run company, with quality processes and a focus on looking after our clients and our people.

The standard is, to quote the PRCA, “the hallmark of PR excellence. CMS combines elements of ‘ISO9001’ and ‘Investors in People’ with criteria specific to a PR and communications consultancy. 

I often tell our team that some PR firms are not what they seem, their website and social media presence scream professionalism but actually they are not well run. Perhaps their financial situation is worrying, or their approach to leadership and company culture is missing. One way I wanted to demonstrate that we operate the right way was to secure accreditation from a trusted industry body.

Step forward the PRCA and its Communication Management Standard.

What exactly does the Communication Management Standard measure?

The standard looks at the following:

  • Leadership & Communication – the PRCA is checking if firms are well managed with clearly defined responsibilities.
  • Business Planning – the auditors want to know that the company has a realistic short and long term programme with a clear direction.
  • Business Improvement – proof that the company has a programme of continuous business improvement with evidence of long term goals and steps taken to achieve them.
  • Financial Management & Systems – evidence that agencies have checks and balances in place, to withstand periods of low growth and that finances are scrutinised by our senior team to support the future of the company
  • Campaign Management – clear examples that agencies have got systems in place for planning and managing programmes against agreed targets, and are measuring and evaluating results achieved.
  • Client Satisfaction – testimony that firms have consistent and continuous tracking of client satisfaction to ensure they meet and exceed client expectations.
  • New Business – proof that businesses conduct negotiations with new clients and offer service agreements which reflect the high standards and best practice expected in the PR profession.
  • People Management – a check to see if firms offer a clearly defined and universally understood system of appraisal, development and training for employees with high standards and investment in people from recruitment onwards.
  • Diversity – a statement that indicates they follow best practice to ensure a clear diversity and equality policy is in place.

The good news is that we recently passed the PRCA Communications Management Standard and that PR Agency One is proven to be a follower of best practice and a company that meets the highest industry standards.

We are a young business with big ambitions. We wanted to prove we are a well run organisation and a place where people can trust us to build their careers or operate as their chosen PR consultancy.

We wanted to demonstrate that we provide a real commitment to the development of our people. We have demonstrated our commitment to our people before that with the rollout of our new employer brand. You can find out more about that via our Alternative Company Handbook.  Yet we wanted to go further and reinforce this commitment.

We wanted our clients to know that we operate to the very highest quality standards for our industry and not run things out of some portacabin somewhere in the back and beyond!  That might sound extreme, but stranger things have happened.

The good news is that we passed with flying colours.

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