In an earlier post, we outlined a list of seven things a client can do to make its PR agency great – our thoughts on how a client can make its PR firm more effective and a better partner ( here’s the link: http://wp.me/ppqb5-iF).
Based on our firm’s 20-year history – and a few client relationships that have lasted more than 16 years – we’ve learned there are also a number of things an agency should do to make its relationships with clients mutually beneficial.
Of course, results are ultimately the most important thing in the client-agency relationship.
Generating solid results, however, is just the start of a great relationship, according to many of the clients we’ve talked with over the years.
If you’re a client, your peers think you should also be able to expect your PR firm team to:
1) Be attentive – they should be responsive, accessible and pro-active, and they should feed the relationship
2) Think long-term and strategic – not just about short-term activities or easy billings
3) Offer ideas and opportunities that are good for your business – even if they are outside of the PR realm and don’t add any revenue or work for the agency
4) Be a good steward of your budget – they are prompt and fair with billing and are thrifty with your money
5) Keep you informed – they strive for transparency and no surprises
6) Anticipate your needs – and they work hard to meet them before you’ve asked them to
7) Provide a realistic view of what you can expect – honest, accurate, puffery-free predictions about cost, timing, impact and/or results
8) Demonstrate that they are always thinking about you and looking out for your best interests
9) Make you the hero – and not seek or take credit for a program’s successes
10) Know, and cater to, your preferences and priorities – instead of forcing you to accept theirs
11) Communicate with you candidly, honestly and frequently – better too much than too little
12) Make it pleasant, friendly and fun for you to work with them – everyone does better in a positive environment.
I’ve always believed that if we, the PR agency team, take care of the client, the client will take care of us. So far, in the majority of cases, that has proven true. It can for you, too.
Clients: What other expectations do you have for your PR agency?