PR community developed principles of fair tenders

The Russian Communications Consultancies Association (АКОS) has developed Russian industry first document which sets principle mechanisms of organizing effective and transparent tenders on PR services for commercial organizations.

Memorandum of PR tenders principles was developed by AKOS experts in collaboration with specialists and heads of procurement departments from companies representing different industries. The document combines best Russian practices and standards recommended by International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO).

According to AKOS experts, transparency of tenders in the sphere of PR services is very important for Russian PR industry at the moment. About one third of tenders in the last year were considered by the experts as not transparent enough.

The main problems mentioned by the experts, were following: lack of valuable feedback from the organizers of tenders to the participants and no chance to discuss results (70%), no explanations reasons of the loss (40%), absence of budget on the PR services after the company collects tenders proposals (20%), unavailability of debriefing after receiving proposals from the organizes of the tender (15%).

Moreover, 64% of experts mentioned, that sometimes companies organizing tenders use creative ideas of PR agencies without discussing it with them without paying for the ideas.

«AKOS Memorandum is aimed to increase efficiency of PR tenders for commercial organizations and to contribute to forming industry standards in this area. Transparent tender procedures are beneficial for both parties, as companies that organize them in compliance with specified rules have more chances to engage professional agencies and avoid corruption among employees involved in the process», – says Elena Fadeeva Chairwoman of AKOS, General Director of Fleishman-Hillard Vanguard.

The Fair Tenders Memorandum has been developed by AKOS working group composed of leading PR agencies: Emerging Communications, Nikkolo M, Tainy Sovetnik, Edelman Imageland, FD, Fleishman-Hillard Vanguard, Maslov PR, PR Inc./DDB, PRОPAGANDA.

The Memorandum consist of 5 documents: basic criteria of PR tenders quality, example of briefing document, recommended standards of tender agreement, recommendations for companies planning PR tenders, recommendations for agencies participating in tenders of commercial organizations. Documents are available on AKOS site under http://www.akospr.ru/articles.php?part=21&code=36, and can be also obtained in AKOS Executive Committee (akos_info@akospr.ru, +7-495-937-3131).

«It was obvious for a long time that professional community needs such a document. Unfortunately more than half of tenders participated by AKOS members are still organized out of rules of business ethics. Very often companies’ responsible persons have no experience in this question. The Memorandum of fair tenders on PR services is just a beginning of AKOS activities in this direction. We plan to promote this document among all industries, hope that it will be useful for the companies and agencies and develope in future», – adds Olga Dashevskaya, head of AKOS tender work group, founder and senior partner of PR. Inc/DDB.

Basic criteria of PR tender quality

Tender can be considered as correct organized by execution the following terms:

  1. All tender participants have equal opportunities concerning all questions;
  2. All tender participants receive tender specification and detailed brief with agency’s goals and objectives, major tender conditions, including requirements to tender proposals, schedule, stages, dates of proposal submission and individual presentation, evaluation criteria. It is also recommend to define estimated budget;
  3. Tender organizer acts in strict adherence to brief and tenders conditions, in case of departure from a schedule immediately informs about it tender participants;
  4. Tender organizer informs about number of tenderers: less than 5 participants, from 5 to 10, more than 10, open tender;
  5. Organizer announces all participants the name of successful bidder. It is recommend to give feedback to unsuccessful tenderers with explanation of lose reasons.

AKOS is the first Russian professional association of Public Relations, founded on 16 March 1999. AKOS is Russian member of International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO), founded in 1986 and uniting 28 national organizations. At the moment AKOS consolidates 31 first-rate Russian PR-consultancies, whose common market share exceeds 50%. Collectively AKOS members employ more than 1500 PR specialists. In April 2009 AKOS presented the first-ever research of Russian PR market, estimating its total size in 2008 at $2.5 billion. http://www.akospr.ru/