It’s Not You, It’s Me. How PR Agencies Can Improve Client Relationships by Simply Utilizing Tools They’ve Already Got
Working with a marketing and PR agency can be a leap of faith – trusting someone to represent your brand, craft messaging for stakeholders and potential clients. If you’ve never worked with an agency before, it’s a lot to get used to. That’s why a solid agency-client relationship is the foundation to any successful marketing campaign. Here are four simple practices both you and your clients will be grateful for.
- Explain your processes – Outlining your processes during client onboarding shows that your agency values transparency and thorough communication. Include an overview of all relevant processes, turnaround time, what the client’s role is and what they can expect from the process. We recommend going over these processes with your main points of contact during onboarding, as well as with any new individuals you work with.
- Be transparent about scope – Scope is money, in the sense that it isn’t unlimited, it needs to be managed wisely, and sometimes reallocated. The first time a client hears about scope shouldn’t be when there’s an issue. It is an agency’s job to ensure that scope is managed, including notifying clients of scope or concerns about the rate of scope depletion, having regular scope check-ins, and always providing recommendations to relocate, when necessary.
- Identify your clients’ communication needs – Any time your client addresses communication, even if it’s requesting to be cc’d or removed from emails, treat it as an opportunity to assess all communication, and update your client records. Establishing communication protocol isn’t strictly an onboarding process, it changes throughout the course of the client relationship, and your client won’t always know or be direct in asking for what they need. If your client asks to be removed from email chains or never responds to email chains, ask them if you’re overcommunicating and cluttering their inbox. If your client regularly asks for an update on efforts, suggest providing weekly update emails.
- Provide your writing style guide – There can be a multitude of ways in which your writing style differs from your client’s, and it’s best that you be transparent about your agency’s writing style during the onboarding process, or else you’ll find yourself regretting it while saving your 14threvision of what you thought would be a “simple” piece of content. Be sure to request thoughtful feedback from clients as part of the “getting to know your writing style” phase. If you notice a theme with your client’s writing style, document it so you have a guideline to follow.