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