THINKPIECE: A client-agency relationship is kept healthy withcrystal-clear expectations on both sides

Dear Client:

If you want to maximize your relationship with your agency to stimulate

success, help us help you. This not only creates a standard of practice

by which you can measure our success, but to know exactly who to blame

or praise. Here are some tips for best cultivating your agency


1. Trust. We make recommendations based on experience, so try to trust

us. Having mutual trust is the most effective way to conceptualize a

campaign, manage a crisis, or develop a strategy.

2. Respond - quickly. PR is extremely dead-line-oriented. Help us

arrange interviews quickly by providing windows of availability and

timely approving of documents that support your messages.

3. Grant access. PR teams need access to high-level executives for

interviews and expert positioning, sales people to discuss sales trends

and good customers, written documentation, and happy clients who will

act as media references.

4. Commit. Getting press simply will not happen without a 110%

commitment from management to proactively provide resources, time,

mind-share, vision, and insight to the PR team.

5. Brainstorm. Bringing even "dumb" ideas to the table helps identify

concepts of your business plan (to highlight in marketing campaigns) so

we can develop the good, eliminate the bad, and know where to focus.

6. Over-communicate. Provide us with exhaustive information about

business initiatives. It may help us find an attractive angle, write a

stronger release, and get you a feature story. If nothing else, we will

bother you less if we already have the necessary information.

7. Be patient. A critical combination of patience and diligence will pay

off in the long run. Getting hits can take months, but any effort can

eventually help generate awareness of your executive knowledge, service,

or product among the media.

8. Set expectations. Give us status updates, even if you still don't

know, so we can keep media deadlines in mind. Setting expectations with

the media helps cultivate our relationships with them, and we can't tell

them what we don't know.

9. Be forward-thinking. If you have an initiative, new client, trade

show, or other event coming up in six months or even a year, tell us

now. It's never too early to strategize, but it is often too late.

10. Pitch us. Pretend we are the media. While we are constantly working

with you to identify good story angles, undoubtedly, you will know about

it before us.

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