Successful romantic relationships require ‘chemistry’ – the emotional connection that bonds two people together. The same can be said about PR agencies and their clients. The two parties must work together, demonstrate loyalty and commit to navigating highs, lows and everything in between.
After the cork-popping celebrations of winning a new client comes the real work. Building – and maintaining – a strong relationship that stands the test of time requires effort. But the results are always worth it, which is why our motto is ‘old is gold’.
Here’s five things we’ve learnt about the art of PRomance:
1. We’re all in this together
Remember the old phrase ‘you reap what you sow’? The most meaningful results are achieved when clients know we are invested in them. An extension of their team, not just a supplier or a service. We’re asking them to put their reputation in our hands and that level of trust should be repaid in kind.
2. Be SMART
Goals are good. They give us focus and help us swim together in the same direction. However, how we get there, when we get there and what route we take needs to be discussed in advance and along the way. Too often relationships break down because there is not enough clarity. Rather than just nodding and saying yes to everything, we are true consultants, which makes us accountable for delivering business value.
3. Communication is a two-way street
PR is all about communications. We understand how important it is to speak – and listen – to each other. So, we communicate with clients in the way that suits them best. Email, phone, face-to-face, Teams, Asana ….! The channel we use is irrelevant, the important part is the feeling of contact. Clients shouldn’t be chasing us, in fact, that’s one of the fastest ways to erode chemistry.
4. Know your strengths and weaknesses
The PR landscape has completely evolved, and this has been further accelerated by COVID-19. New disciplines and technologies are emerging and diversifying. We’re always looking at ways to innovate and upskill as a team but trying to be everything to everyone is a dangerous game. Taking on a task that doesn’t sit within our expertise has the potential to backfire and derail a client relationship. We don’t hesitate to bring in or recommend contacts across industries and geographies that we know are better suited to the task.
5. We’re all human!
All work and no play make PR a very dull industry. We spend a lot of time with clients. In the last few months we’ve met toddlers, dogs and parents during virtual client calls! Connecting on a human level is so important. PR, sales and marketing are all tough gigs. Being able to have a laugh over a wine and get to know each other is a great perk of the job.