Contrary to what many believe, this isn’t the secret to long term success with clients.
At C&B, we invest ample efforts during the pitch process – from extensive research and moulding content to developing integrated communication strategies that resonate with key stakeholders. We audit the client’s marketing and business performance over the years, benchmark against regional and global players, and accordingly recommend an outreach plan that is relevant and strategic. And when we pitch, we pitch with confidence and poise because we know that what we are presenting is the best for them. Our efforts have blown the client away.
So how do we sustain and grow this connection even after years of engagement? It boils down to TRUST. Trust is not built overnight or simply by hitting KPIs, but by fulfilling the promises we first made in that pitch and becoming a client’s greatest ambassador and confidant.
1. RESEARCH: This should not end at the proposal preparation phase. Expert PR consultants are the first to share the latest trends and news with their clients, including market insights, competitor analysis and stakeholder reviews. As the landscape shifts, ongoing research and benchmarking makes sure you are differentiating your clients from the pack.
2. ONE STEP AHEAD: Whether flagging opportunities, suggesting new ideas first, or simply taking a proactive approach to deadlines, PR agencies need to stay one step ahead and anticipate client needs in every sense. We need to keep our ears to the ground and demonstrate readiness, which in turn earns trust and credibility.
3. THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: Beyond simply meeting targets and securing print coverage, PR consultants need to surpass expectations with creative, innovative, new-age PR ideas. This includes out-of-the-box strategies that can be launched across multiple digital channels and platforms, creating an exciting ripple effect.
4. COMMUNICATION: More than partners, we treat our clients like family, which means clear and frequent communication. Keep clients abreast of all new developments and flag issues, but don’t forget to celebrate successes too. Communication is the basis of all good relationships.
5. DISCERNMENT: You are the PR expert, so have confidence in your convictions and don’t be afraid to challenge clients and advise them as to what is best for them. Activities that work in their home market may not work for UAE PR, or for the publication they are targeting, so remember you are a consultant and offer sound, insightful advice.
Public relations is no longer about simply meeting targets, but about constantly raising the bar for ourselves. We need to maintain the SPARK and constantly keep the client as excited as they were when we first entered their board rooms to pitch our ideas. We need to challenge them, to think about what’s best for them, and to prove to them that we understand their business – now and tomorrow.
So next time they ask us to JUMP, we’ll already be up there!