Public Relations and Marketing Proposals: A Workflow Outline

Written by Greg Brooks. Posted in Blog

Greg Brooks - creating a marketing or PR proposalBack in this post, I offered an outline of how to handle a new-business-proposal. What was missing? The process behind the content — what to think about before, during and after you were following that (very insightful!) outline.

I’m remedying that with the outline below, which covers proposal processes: What to look at and how to divvy up the work, from the time an RFP first comes in the door until you put it in FedEx. It’s a framework that can work for everyone from one-person shops to large agencies.

Basic Proposal-Response Processes


  • Management function
  • Good fit?
  • Competitive landscape?
  • Risk/reward ratio?
  • What questions must be answered by the potential client before proceeding?


  • Start with order / requirements of the RFP, if listed
  • Determine unque/highest values of your team’s approach
  • Write the executive summary first; build document from that foundation


  • Assign boilerplate retrieval to admin staff
  • Small proposals generally written by one person (proposal manager); larger ones may be assigned by section to team members
  • Price the work after the workplan narrative is complete, not before


  • Requirements Review (“Did we answer all the requirements?”)
  • Risks Review (“Have we identified and mitigated, to our satisfaction, any risks in the potential client’s desired approach?”)
  • Red Team review (“What will someone think seeing this for the first time?”)
  • Flyspecking (“Is it free of typos or other embarrassing mistakes?”)

Financial review

  • Is the work priced competitively?
  • Have contingencies been identified?
  • Have we left room for negotiation?


  • Admin process (leaves proposal manager free to move onto the next thing)

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