1. What sets PR Boutiques International apart from other networks of PR firms?
PRBI is the only international network of boutique PR firms in the world. Boutique PR firms tend to offer a higher level of service at a more affordable cost than big agencies because the senior staff, including the firm’s owners, are much more hands-on with clients than at big agencies. We are a tightly knit group of boutique PR firms with international reach. Our members combine small PR agency client service with world class practice skills and sector experience.
2. What are the benefits of membership in PRBI?
• National/regional and international partners you can trust to work with your clients.
• A community in which you can talk freely and where you can learn.
• Expanded capabilities from other firms in the network that you can offer your clients and which will give you an edge over competitors.
• A ‘brain trust’ of senior counselors who will share their experience and ideas with you.
• The opportunity to participate in very high quality annual conferences where industry experts run workshops, high-profile corporate PR executives speak and members showcase their expertise and network with each other.
• Friends in faraway places. When working out of town, a local PRBI colleague can smooth your path.
• Higher visibility through our web site, marketing and networking.
• A chance to become more sophisticated about international business through meeting, working and communicating frequently with colleagues from other countries and business cultures.
• A source of potential business.
3. What are the membership qualifications?
• The agency must be a boutique PR firm in which the principals work directly on client business. Freelancers working alone do not qualify. Firms with more than one employee do, including firms set up as “virtual organizations” that call on a defined team of professionals to handle client business.
• Agency must have been in business at least 3 years.
• No PRBI member may be a member of another, comparable network.
• Firms, not individuals, are members of PRBI.
• Members must abide by PRBI’s Rules of Operation.
• Pay dues and fees on time.
• Share information, advice and expertise with other members.
• Respond promptly to PRBI and other members’ requests.
• Observe confidentiality and non-compete agreements.
• Be frank with other members when they request assistance.
• Members may not seek business in another member’s geographical market without that member’s permission.
• Actively participate in the work of the organization and get to know the other members.
• Members must promote PRBI in their own markets and to their own clients.
4. How are membership applications evaluated?
We’re always on the lookout for high quality boutique firms around the world. And high quality is of utmost importance in considering member applications. A PR network is only as good as its members, and we evaluate applicants for membership very carefully. Every prospective member is interviewed by the membership committee. If the committee recommends the agency, the application is sent for a vote by all members.
5. How much are membership dues and what do they cover?
Our dues are USD $850 annually. Dues cover our website, marketing and communications costs; bookkeeping; and partially support our annual membership conference.
6. Are there any other expenses besides dues?
There’s a fee to attend the annual conference. PRBI is a non-profit organization, and costs for the annual conference (as well as PRBI’s other expenses) are kept at a level that covers expenses.