When you partner with a public relations agency, you’ll get to know your account manager pretty quickly. At first, you may assume an account manager is simply an extension of the project management team, when in reality, this person plays a very different role.
Account managers and project managers work in tandem to ensure your satisfaction with the final project. Where a project manager’s sole focus lies on the completion of the work, an account manager’s goal is to ensure your satisfaction at every turn.
Account managers actually have some of the toughest jobs in a PR agency. As agents of mutual understanding, they help to shape the culture of the agency and strike a harmonious tone in relationships with their clients.
What does an account manager do?
Here are some of the tasks that your account manager performs each day:
Works to retrieve critical information from you, even when times are tough
Reviews the project with you to help you understand every aspect
Strategizes with you to ensure the best possible outcome
Ensures a profitable return for all parties involved
Develops new ways to work together in the future
Acts as a diplomat to help the team complete current projects
Remains vigilant, reading social signals and preventing looming catastrophes
Follows clients through to future projects and creates new strategies
Revises service offerings and value pricing and works to understand your specific needs
Account managers’ soft skills are what helps them succeed, as opposed to technical skills. These skills, which include leadership, adaptability, dependability, and creativity, enable them to bridge gaps, manage relationships, and ensure beneficial outcomes for all parties involved. Account managers act as ambassadors for your perspective, selling your position on issues to their own employers. The best account managers always go the extra mile to improve your relationship with the agency – no matter what.
Many account managers never envisioned taking on such a role at the beginning of their careers. In fact, they probably experienced significant career path diversions to end up where they are now. Many started with degrees in technical fields with full intentions of occupying jobs like copywriting, social media management, or graphic design. However, once their soft skills shone brightest, they quickly found more fulfillment in the hands-on duty of interfacing directly with their clients.
Account managers display high emotional intelligence and acute social awareness that allows them to notice patterns and trends that put them ahead of the curve. They listen closely to your needs and lead their troops to accomplish exactly what you desire from your PR agency.
Ready to learn more about PR agencies, best practices, and how a strong media relations strategy can help your company? Check out Axia Public Relations’ recent webinar “Questions and Answers from a Public Relations Pro.”
Aaron Dunn is a content marketing and social media specialist with more than five years in the industry. He primarily works as a copywriter for professional service firms. He earned a Bachelor of Science in political science and contributes regularly to online publications. Aaron has worked for Axia Public Relations since January 2019.