In our previous post (http://wp.me/ppqb5-qI), we offered the first five of 10 things you, as a client-side PR professional, can do get the most from your PR agency.
My contention, based on more than 30 years in the PR profession on both the client and the agency side – is that the best way to get the most out of your company’s relationship with its PR agency is to invest more thought and time into the actual relationship.
Nurture it. Feed it. Grow it.
If you want to get more satisfaction, better ideas, better service and ultimately better results from your PR firm, here are tips six through 10 for building a better relationship:
6) Make a sincere effort to show your appreciation. When the agency provides exceptional service, meets a crazy deadline or scores a major media hit, make the time and the effort to recognize it with a call, a text or an email.
7) Be honest. If your boss doesn’t need that release draft until next week, don’t ask the agency to have it done today. If your account team suspects you are crying “wolf” too often, they may not take you seriously when you really do need something today.
8) Provide the agency with feedback on projects promptly. Even if it’s just to say “Thanks for the draft. Looks good. I’ll run it by the product team and will get back to you,” close the loop so they know the project has been received and is moving along. A good agency will ask, but an agency with a good client won’t have to ask.
9) Trust the agency enough to really listen. If you chose the right firm, the account team is on your side and wants you to succeed. You may not always agree with them, but you hired them for their expertise and their outside perspective. At least hear it out. And if you don’t agree, give them insight as to why you are may be taking a different path.
10) Make sure the housekeeping issues are being handled. Ensure that the agency is being paid fairly and on time for its work. Be the agency’s advocate with your Accounts Payable Department if there are payment issues. Cash flow is critical to every agency’s success. And if you help ensure that cash flow is steady, the agency can better focus on generating ideas, opportunities and results for you.
To have the best PR partner, you have to BE the best PR partner … and most times, all it takes is a little more focus on the relationship you create.
Clients: What else are you doing that helps make your company your PR firm’s preferred client?