Having experienced working on both the agency and client side, I know what it’s like to be in either one’s shoes, with each role having their own unique challenges; clients demanding a quick turnaround on deliverables, agencies requiring more time to produce good quality work… and so on. Below are some examples and tips on how clients and agencies can work together to maximise PR potential.
It goes without saying that on-going, clear communication is required from both sides. Between e-mails, phone calls and meetings, there is plenty of scope for miscommunication and ideas getting lost in translation (pun intended). Just as agencies should report to clients with accurate and timely updates, so do clients need to be transparent and keep the agency in the loop of information.
By default, agencies need to service their clients by always being available to answer queries, being on hand for impromptu meetings, or even handle a crisis. On the other hand, it sometimes feels that clients are not fulfilling their end of the deal by being unavailable for timely approvals and feedback. This can lead to missed deadlines and there’s nothing worse than missing a good PR opportunity because of administrative or other limitations.
The real value that a PR agency adds is consultancy rather than execution of tasks. This is why clients hire agencies in the first place. Agencies are knowledgeable about multiple industries and have many staff members at hand who can offer assistance where needed. These include brainstorming sessions, filling in for emergencies, cross-channel media relations and additional database resources.
Ultimately, a client and its PR agency are one team with a common goal. An agency will not be able to fulfill its commitment to a client without that client’s input, cooperation and support. When the two parties work together in harmony, that’s when the best PR campaigns and projects are produced.