As an agency public relations practitioner, I have the opportunity to represent amazing businesses and organizations that positively impact the community and provide services that improve people’s lives. What makes working with these amazing companies even better is when there is a trusting relationship between the client and the agency.
Just as public relations campaigns evolve, so do relationships with clients. Sometimes this change happens simultaneously, but not always. As an agency, it’s important to realize that this can happen and that it can affect the outcome of your PR campaign, sometimes greatly.
The ultimate goal is to have a relationship where you work well together, respect, and push each other to produce the best outcomes. This concept isn’t taught or learned in school but must be part of your personal practice every day, no matter how busy life gets.
Here are a few tips to keep building and maintaining your agency/ client relationship.
1. Create Trust and Respect
This is established via open and honest communications and demonstrating your sincerity, reliability, commitment, and knowledge for your work.
2. Push Each Other to Explore New Initiatives
Trying something new can be a risk, but without pushing each other to try new tactics or approaches you are stuck in the mundane.
I came across a quote from Anthony Bourdain that has stayed with me. “Without experimentation, a willingness… to try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.”
3. Keep Disagreements Respectful
You can’t be fearful of conflict. Some of the best ideas come out of discussion and analyzing different opinions. This can also improve relationships as you see what matters.
4. Ask for Feedback
Receiving feedback can be difficult, but at the end of the day it will help you create a better relationship; knowing what clients really like and elements they feel the agency can improve on. You can’t continue to improve on your work if you don’t ask.
5. Get to Know Them Personally
In order to build a good working relationship creating a personal relationship is important. Everyone has a life outside of work, so it’s good for you and your client to be able to create personal bonds over family and what you enjoy. This became even more important during COVID as home and work-life melded together.
The client/ agency relationship doesn’t always have to be rainbows and unicorns, but it does need to be productive, respectful, and beneficial. If a relationship has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer beneficial for either party, or worse, to the detriment of the PR campaign, it might be time to cut ties.
In the end, the most successful and rewarding client/ agency relationships should be ones where both client and agency are working together to achieve the goals of the company in tandem.
Posted In Public Relations