Public relations is all about maintaining relationships. A lot of these relationships are obvious, like customer relations, media relations, and investor relations. The client-agency relationship, however, may not be so apparent to public relations students until they are out in the career world. Creating and maintaining good relationships with clients is essential for a successful PR agency career. Good client relations isn’t hard but it takes work. Here are some tips on how to build successful relationships with your clients.
- Understand and respect your client’s priorities. PR is your main focus and although it is an important objective for your client, it may not be his or her top priority.
- Follow the one in 24 rule. Don’t blast your client’s inbox with emails or call him or her three times a day. Unless it’s an emergency, only reach out to your client once, wait for him or her to respond, and wait 24 hours before reaching out again.
- If you need help, ask for it. The client wants you to have everything you need to do a good job so don’t be afraid to ask for more information or clarity.
- Make it a conversation. Be realistic in what you can deliver and involve your client in strategy development and message creation.
- Don’t wait for your client to ask you for things. Be proactive and bring your ideas and what you can offer to him or her.
- Always keep in mind that a great agency is one that understands a client perfectly so really try to learn what the client’s goals and objectives are and align your work with them.
It takes a lot to build an ideal relationship with your client- so start off on the right foot! PR lab at Boston University is helping me figure out these PR rules. Find my first piece on being a First-Time Account Executive here.
Whenever I find a brand I really like, I look them up on Twitter. Connecting with a brand on Twitter is the best way to find out about new deals, products and the overall style of the company.
However, no matter how much I love a brand, it pains me when they do (or don’t do) certain things on Twitter. The following are five social media habits brands should break if they want to keep their followers. These may sound like no-brainers, but you’d be surprised how many brands don’t know about these social media no-nos.
1. Connecting Facebook and Twitter.
This social media tactic is lazy and it is most definitely not effective for several reasons. In the first place, if you are cross posting all of your content, why in the world would anyone follow you on both platforms? Secondly, and more importantly, you should not be posting the same types of things on Facebook as you are on Twitter. If you’re interested, you can see some of the differences in uses here.
2. Scheduling Tweets way in advance, or using automated replies without checking up on them.
Hootsuite and other scheduling apps are incredibly useful tools for anyone doing digital marketing for a brand. However, we live in a world where circumstances change in an instant. For example, a man opened fire on a Colorado movie theater. A couple of hours later, an account associated with the NRA tweeted, “Good morning, shooters! Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” Obviously, the NRA received major backlash for this careless tweet. The same applies to automatic replies – you can’t expect what you say will be appropriate every time. Although time consuming, it will be worth it for you to check up on what you’ve scheduled.
3. Ignoring unhappy customers.
People can post whatever they want on social media. Remember the saying the customer is always right? It is true in every circumstance. Don’t ignore a negative post, apologize! If the customer is really offended and it’s within your budget, offer them a coupon or another solution to make it right. The offended customer may turn their opinion around and publicly announce how a company has treated them. Never miss an opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
4. Not communicating with other brands.
Sure, we may not want to draw attention to our rivals, but tagging other brands is a great way to spread your name even more. People will see your conversation and want to join in.
5. Not offering deals.
This depends from brand to brand but a great way to keep followers is to reward them! For example, the burger chain BurgerFi just opened on our BU campus and offered a free custard to anyone who instagramed their meal, tweeted or checked in at the new location. Word of the restaurant spread fast and BurgerFi continues to be packed – not an easy feat on a college campus that already has a few burger places.