As PR people, we want to help our clients. Our job depends on it. If we do not make our clients happy, then it is simple — we lose those clients. This is great motivation in itself for a PR rep. We think about what we can do to make our clients happy all the time. But what makes a good client? How can clients effectively work with PR agencies to make the most out of their time with us? Here are a few tips on how you can help us help you to make the best out of your PR investment:
1) Provide information overload. As a client, it is important to make sure to give more than enough information. Don’t be afraid to tell a PR agency everything and anything they need to know, even some things you think may be irrelevant. More often than not, we can make useful connections with information that a client might not see at first. Being open and upfront with the information you CAN share (news, events, challenges, etc.) helps us to do our best job for you and your company.
2) Be responsive. Many clients ask their PR reps for lots of coverage, but when the curtains rise, they are not available to give them any information. If you hire a PR agency, it is necessary to recognize that many times, PR reps have to turn things around within the hour at the mercy of the news reporters. Journalists are frequently under immense pressure to report a breaking story (or four). If a journalist has a question, responding quickly not only makes your company look good, but it also gives us credibility as a PR agency. Your responsiveness and accessibility help us build better relationships with the reporters, which ultimately leads to more stories and media coverage for your company.
3) Realize we are on your side. We want the best and most media coverage for our clients just as much as they do, but there is only so much we can do as far as timing and placement. For example, we can have the most amazing event with all of the information sent in to the media, but where, when, how and if the story gets placed is ultimately up to the news outlet. This amazing event could be set to appear on the front page one day, and the next day before it goes to print, a breaking news story on the other side of town occurs. Your event is no longer relevant. It is not anything we did or didn’t do; simply, what the news outlet wants to cover that day has changed. It is important to be understanding about the type of coverage we are able to garner. Trust us that when all is said and done, our goal is to achieve your overall marketing and communication goals.
Successful PR goes hand-in-hand with the relationships we build, but relationships are certainly not a one-way street. This list is obviously a small start, but it gives you a good idea on ways to make the most out of your PR investment. Instead of making this a business transaction, make it a real relationship; you will be sure to find your perfect PR match.