Tales from a First-Time Account Executive Part 2: The Client-Agency Relationship

partnerships-in-ad-agency-client-relationship-at-theoutsideviewblog-com-e1330033501754Public 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.

Media Relations: A Journalist’s Perspective

boston_sports_teamsLast semester, I interviewed Boston Globe sports reporter Amalie Benjamin. As an avid sports fan, I was eager to hear about the ins and outs of sports writing and media relations. Amalie spent many years covering baseball and the Red Sox. This season she traded in her sunny days at Fenway Park for chilly plastic seats at TD Garden.  While Amalie welcomed the opportunity to cover the Boston Bruins, she dreaded the team’s heavy travel schedule to Canada and cities across the country.  This change took a bit of adjusting, not only to the long distance traveling, but also to the media policies. The National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) enforce different media policies that players, coaches and journalists must follow. For instance, the NHL does not permit any media access to players and coaches before games. This rules changes Amalie’s routine and forces her to develop a story based off of less information. Yet, Amalie looks past the inconvenience and focuses on “doing it right” so she can “say I really did my job well today.”  Plus, the less interviews, the less she has to transcribe, something she notes as “the worst thing [she] ha[s] to do, but it’s a necessary evil.”

The team of public relations professionals from the sports teams she covers always made sure she has every statistic, interview and resource she needs to write her story. Occasionally, during a breaking news story or crisis, the sports organization’s PR department tries to protect the team or certain players at all costs. This makes Amalie’s job a lot harder. Fortunately, Amalie understands the hesitation from an internal point of view and still appreciates the assistance of media relations professionals.

First and foremost, Amalie became a journalist because writing has always been her passion. She loves laying out all of the puzzle pieces and putting them together to form a complete picture for people to admire and discuss. “I got into the business to tell stories…that’s important to me,” says Benjamin. All she wants to do is write about the truth and “interesting things that [she] hope[s] people will respond to.” And although public relations practitioners can steer her in the wrong direction at times, everyday she relies on their coordinated interviews for vital information during training camp and the season. In the end, the struggle pays off because “the best thing in the world is finding a story and feeling like you go it right” says Benjamin. “It’s pitch perfect.”

5 Social Media Habits Brands Should Break

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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.

What Kind Of Social Network Are You?

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