Winning a new client is one of the most exciting experiences in the PR industry, but retaining a client is even more valuable. In the previous part of my blog I explored the many reasons that a client may fire a PR agency, and realised that the two key factors in client retention are relationships and results. How can we get these two things right to establish a solid and lasting client base?
Building relationships with clients and delivering results starts from the word go with in-depth research, which should encompass everything from their key stakeholders and main competitors, to their business objectives, brand strengths and weaknesses, and potential opportunities. Research does not stop – you should always be living the brand and aiming to get further toward the heart of your client. This shows them that you are not only their greatest ambassador, but also their key to unlocking business success via sound communication strategies that they know are designed with their requirements at front of mind.
When you are planning how to put your strategies into action, it is important to work closely with your client. This involves going the extra mile by providing them with a clear idea of exactly how the campaign will progress, from activity calendars and timelines to organising internal workshops that are designed to prepare and guide them. It is also essential that key messages and measurement tools are agreed on in close collaboration with your client, to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working toward a shared goal.
When your work starts as agreed, always remember that you are more than just your client’s PR person. Instead you are their consultant, confidant and champion. The best way to demonstrate this is by taking a proactive, go-getting, opportunity-seeking attitude to their account at all times. By keeping your ear to the ground and putting yourself in your client’s shoes, you will be able to provide them with fresh ideas, new angles and exciting opportunities that take your results far beyond the deliverables they expected.
With a solid strategy and clear measurement tools in place, you should be providing your clients with regular updates that are more than just conventional coverage reports. Aim to also give them valuable market insights, consumer sentiment analyses, and as comprehensive an idea as possible of what you are achieving for them. Stay in touch and remember to celebrate achievements together, whether it’s an excellent piece of coverage or a brilliant event – a shared success is one of the greatest bonding experiences.
In today’s competitive PR world, we must be prepared to go above and beyond, based on a solid foundation of trustful relationships and exceptional results.
Joyce Mourad is the Senior Account Executive of Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. An independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai and offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA. | www.cbpr.me