We’re not shy about how much we love our clients. Whenever an interviewee asks us Groupies what we love most about our jobs, our clients always come up. They’re great people, they’re easy to work with, and they appreciate us. In short, they make our jobs fun.
Building the perfect client relationship can take time, though. Just like starting any relationship, you have to figure out the other person’s preferences. Some clients prefer email while others prefer phone. Some only answer their cell phones and others use their office lines more. Certain clients want regular updates and communication while others may not even want to have a monthly meeting. Some are more social and others want to get straight to business. And the list goes on.
Those nuances are easy to pick up on over time, and knowing and abiding by them leads to exceptional client relationships. That’s step one. Here are three important things you need for a great PR professional-client relationship.
This one is obvious. PR is all about communication. Constant client contact is crucial to a successful PR campaign. We need to know what’s going on in your business. Even little things can make a great story so it’s always better to tell your public relations team more than you think you need to. If it isn’t newsworthy, they’ll let you know. More importantly, sometimes those little tidbits can be the perfect fit in certain stories. You’ll get better coverage in the media if your PR team is in the loop on all aspects of your business.
If you hold back information because you don’t want the media to find out, you’re hurting your relationship with your PR representative. It’s critical to trust your PR person to follow your wishes and withhold information from reporters as necessary. If you tell us something that helps us understand your business but is a trade secret, we’ll keep that information to ourselves. Trust is even more crucial in crisis communications. Fill in your PR team at the first sign of a problem and keep them updated. They need to be prepared to help you handle the crisis if it goes public.
It’s best if you like your PR team as people. You don’t have to become best friends, but choose someone you wouldn’t mind grabbing a drink or lunch with every now and then. It’s easier to respect someone’s ideas – not to mention trust him – when you like him. And it makes the constant contact more fun if you get along well.