The Road to a Happy Client
By Laura Baumann, Intern
Establishing and maintaining a good relationship with our clients is important for those of us in the public relations industry. PR success doesn’t just come from an effective press release or the right pitch, but from the strong bond the agency has with its clients. Developing these connections make PR tasks more satisfying and effective. The agency and the client should always strive for a relationship that isn’t just one sided. The client-agency partnership should be an extension of the client’s overall team and a key part in their overall success.
Collaboration and teamwork are important within the client-agency relationship in order to see results. Clients want to know that they matter and are more willing to cooperate if they feel they do. Having well defined expectations and regular communication is important when helping clients understand how different constituencies perceive their business. Clients also want to feel confident that they are working with a responsive, results-driven agency that has their best interests in mind. Agencies need to remember to listen to their client and understanding what they want from their public relations campaign. The better the client understands the role of the PR team the more they will trust their opinion.
Lastly, agencies need to be able to say no just as much as they say yes. In some cases, clients will ask their agencies to do things beyond their capability. If a PR team weighs the opportunity and believes it is not right for their client or for their firm, they shouldn’t be afraid to say no. Clients hire a PR team to help them solve problems. The more problems we solve the better, however, we don’t always have a solution for every challenge that comes our way. Admitting it’s out of your reach is far better than taking something on and getting stuck in deep water. Staying focused on a task is the best thing an agency can do to maintain a relationship with their client. When you deliver what you say you’re going to deliver you build credibility, ultimately enhancing your relationship.