All About Relationships: Developing Effective Client + Agency Partnerships
Anyone familiar with agency life understands the value of having truly engaged and collaborative clients. Likewise, there are far too many horror stories of organizations that have had difficult agency experiences previously, leaving them uneasy about engaging a new PR partner. If the relationship isn’t jelling between the client and his or her agency, it can mean the difference between ho-hum results vs. award-winning PR and marketing campaigns.
Over the past 20 years of my communications career, I have been fortunate enough to experience meaningful successes with amazing clients that were largely the result of strong client relationships where everyone is well aligned, passionate, and equally invested in the campaign’s success.
Relationships are at the forefront of all we do at Inspire PR Group, and it all starts with setting and aligning expectations out of the gate. Below are some highlights of what Inspire clients can and should, expect from their account teams:
- Exceptional work quality – We recognize clients put their trust and faith in our team to represent their brands and we take that seriously. Clients should expect thoughtful, strategic, and error-free work that reaches the desired audiences and obtains results.
- Over-communication – No one likes surprises and feeling out of the loop. We provide regular status updates, set a regular cadence for meetings, and reach out as often as needed via text, email, or phone.
- A relationship that transcends work – Inspire believes deeply in the power of relationships and strong, long-standing connections can’t be made solely behind a screen. Whenever possible, we like to meet in person for good conversation and planning.
- Out-of-the-box thinking – We don’t simply dole out work products. As the strategic PR partner for our clients, we proactively flag opportunities, share trends and industry news and think creatively about how we can best share client stories.
- Tempered candor – We provide expert PR counsel regardless of the situation and prevailing opinions. We will always share our truthful guidance and will always do so with respect and professionalism.
Equally, to ensure the PR relationship is the most productive it can be, there are a few client-centered best practices that can certainly make a difference:
- A clear point of contact – Having a dedicated point of contact is valuable to ensure clear communication and keep projects moving forward.
- Engagement – Whether it’s crafting a thoughtful email update to share details with our team, showing up on time for meetings or simply turning on your camera for a Zoom call, we work best when our clients are as excited and engaged in the process as we are.
- Responsiveness – The best work occurs when our team has access to background materials, operational updates and more. Receiving timely correspondence also helps ensure opportunities are not missed.
- Mutual professional respect – Our team is always mindful of acting with the utmost integrity and providing the highest level of professionalism and hope our clients share these values as well.
We tout in our media trainings that you can never assume people know you care unless you tell them. So, consider this notice: We care about each other, and we care about our clients. Together, we do meaningful work that gets results.