Every relationship takes work and perseverance. And like any other relationship, the client-agency partnership can have its setbacks, even if it starts with the best of intentions.
What hinders great results can be boiled down to a lack of truth, trust and transparency from both
With that in mind, let's get right into what is needed for a great PR experience
The foundation of any healthy relationship rests on truth. Truth
allows both parties to listen, know and trust each other.
It is the responsibility of both parties to clearly
state what they expect from the other and to be clear about what they intend to do. This includes their capabilities or the things that could limit them from achieving the desired goals. The bottom line is: both client and PR pro need to have a mutual understanding.
From the client's perspective, it's important that they understand their situation from the get-go. They need to consider things like how long it takes to get the kind of coverage they want, for example, so that expectations can be maintained accordingly throughout the process.
On the agency's side, they should not make promises they can't keep. They need to be honest about what's expected from every communication that goes out. They need to be upfront about the successes, as well as any drawbacks that occur. All in all, be truthful to each other from the onset about what you can do and cannot do.
If the PR agency has a well-established relationship with the client, they will be more open to giving control to the agency because they trust one another
. Trust allows for effective communication — especially during the planning and development of a campaign.
From the agency's perspective, it is quite obvious that you would want to make your clients happy and to retain them, but don't let them lead the process in order to achieve this. Rather, it should be the other way around. Of course, your client knows what they want, but they don't know how
to get there and that's why you are here: to guide them.
For example, a client might want to send out a message to a particular audience but only the agency knows whether the message is suitable or not. They need to let the PR pros do their jobs. Trust is a two-way street, as they say.
When the PR agency and client are both honest and transparent
with one another, it minimises any doubts and misconceptions. For example, if a PR campaign is failing and the media is not responding, the agency should advise the client on another approach that could be more creative or produce better results.
The PR agency can do this by disclosing which outlets they have already pitched to and what the pitch was all about. The more collaborative and transparent both parties are, the less problems they will encounter.
Additionally, clients and agencies need to set objectives as a team by starting with realistic goals that will produce good results. They can then stretch it as the project or campaign grows, and this shows credibility.
Both parties also need to agree on a budget; it's the agency's
responsibility to keep the client aware of how much the activities will cost. From the client's side, you should understand when the agency says the budget will not cover all activities. As a client, it's not a crime wanting to know where your money is going. However, you need to trust that all the budget will contribute to the ultimate goal.What other essential things are required between a PR agency and a client in order to create a significant PR moment? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Transparency has been a major buzzword in PR lately. Have you been wondering why? Check out The importance of transparency in PR to find out.
*Image courtesy of Canva.