8 ways to avoid common pitfalls and maintain a strong relationship
The partnership between a company and its public relations agency is one of the most important connections in business. It is how a company shares messages, increases visibility and builds its brand.
Having to constantly find a new PR agency can be a time-sucking nightmare for a company. It’s better for everyone to develop longstanding, mutually beneficial relationships. Keeping a PR client for a lifetime is not easy, but if everyone works together, it can be done. You just have to know these eight dos and don’ts.
- Don’t over-complicate things. Some companies create such confusing, exhausting approval processes that it’s a wonder anything actually gets approved. This is unnecessary when you develop a relationship of trust and respect.
- Do put yourself in each other’s shoes. The PR agency must respect a company’s perspective and opinion, but CEOs and C-suite executives should understand that public relations professionals know their business and how to deal with media and other constituents.
- Don’t limit yourself. Fresh, new ideas, surprising insights and outside-the-box thinking will keep everyone on their toes and help to demonstrate a PR firm’s value. It is vital to continuously find innovative ways to position your client and new angles to tell their story.
- Do be proactive. Staying on top of issues before they become crises, keeping abreast of trends and creating campaigns that help you get the jump on competition are just some of the ways that PR counsel can be invaluable. When you study opportunities and plan in advance, you can increase your chances for visibility and recognition.
- Don’t let the relationship become stagnant. Getting the client is only the beginning. The same energy and drive you used to win the client should be maintained constantly. Like any other relationship, you both must work hard to keep the fire burning. It is vital that you both continue to learn new technologies, adapt to changes and improve communication.
- Do perform as expected. For any kind of firm, the easiest way to lose a client is to disappoint them by not delivering as promised. It is important to understand exactly what the client wants and do your best to make it happen. You must also be able to show measurable results.
- Don’t take anything for granted. PR firms get dumped every day with little or no warning. You should continually evaluate the relationship, discuss status reports and keep finding ways to amaze.
- Do get to know your client’s company and its people. The more you understand about a company, its culture and how everyone works together, the more successful you will be. Also, in the event of internal office shake-ups and departures, everyone will know how your efforts have contributed to the bottom line, making it less likely that the PR agency will be put on the chopping block during these times of uncertainty.
At Axia Public Relations, we use our PR Proof system, a seven-step strategic planning, measurement and reporting approach to public relations work. By measuring what matters most for each client, we have a more focused method of delivering effective communication efforts. To learn more about why 97 percent of our clients would recommend Axia to others, contact us today or download our e-book, Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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