Trust in PR is a revered asset and a key component to success. As important as it is, it isn’t all that easy to come by.
The Institute for Public Relations expands on this, stating that “PR is rooted in establishing and maintaining relationships through communication and other efforts, essentially making it a trust-making business
The three building blocks of trust in PR are authenticity, credibility and provability
. The implementation of these principles allow for trust to be built and maintained over time. To better build trust with clients, PR pros need to:
1. Respect your clients’ time
In the business world, time is money. When trying to build trust with your clientele, it’s essential
to respect your clients’ time, needs and schedules.
This means that you need to:
Meet your deadlines
It’s clear that if you want to build and maintain strong relationships with clients, you need to deliver work of high quality, consistently
. Ensure that you meet your deadlines, as failing to do so could result in delay or throw off an entire project.
Don’t cancel at the last minute
Sometimes ‘life happens
’, and you’ll need to cancel a meeting. When these situations occur, be sure to let your client know as soon as possible. During this time, you can also discuss with them when you can reschedule your meet-up.
Keep meetings to their scheduled times
Don’t allow your meetings to run late or start early; set a time and stick to i
t. This proves to your client that you are punctual and respectful of their time, making you more credible in their eyes.
Honour your commitments
This highlights the importance of consistency when building trust with clientele. By making a concerted effort to keep your commitments (meetings, calls or when attending events), you will present as reliable and trustworthy to your clients.
2. Be open and honest with your clients
As noted above, authenticity and credibility are crucial
when building trust. Making sure that you communicate effectively will help you make major strides in this regard.
Exceptional communication is honest, timely and clear
. It is best not to leave any room for miscommunication by being transparent and straightforward — at all times
For example, if you make an error in your work or miss a deadline, be honest with your client in communicating this. Go on to explain the situation and how you plan to fix it. This helps you to present yourself as authentic to your client, and will go a long way in cultivating a trusting relationship.
In addition to being honest, it is essential
for any communication with your client to be consistent and clear. Make sure you’re on the same page with your client by regularly checking in and keeping them up to date with how you are progressing with your work.
3. Share testimonials and work samples with clients
This point touches on the last building block of trust — provability
. The most surefire way to build trust with a consumer is to provide them with proof
of your performance.
It’s one thing to say how amazing you are, but it’s another thing to actually
prove it. And what better way to do that than with testimonials other people are saying how good
When you finish working with a client, be sure to ask if you could use them as a reference or if they would mind giving a brief testimonial
of their experience working with you.
Sharing positive testimonials and samples of your work will help to build trust with new or potential clients as it will affirm the quality of your work and what you’re like to work with. As a PR pro, what strategies do you employ to build trust with clients? We would love to read about them in the comment section below.
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Do you want to learn more about how you can improve client relations in PR? Then be sure to check out these Four PR tools that will impress your clients.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy