Comforting clients in a down economy, pro bono PR, more

What are some ways to comfort a panicked client in tough economic times?

Client relations
What are some ways to comfort a panicked client in tough economic times?

View your client as a partner and think about how to counsel on business issues that matter most to them, says Rich Timmons, president of Wheatley & Timmons.

“This is the time to focus on strong strategic marketing and understanding your target,” he advises. “Work through a cost-effective strategy with both short- and long-term goals.”

Consider opportunities to engage consumers online through social networks and blogs, adds Timmons.

“Smart firms are spending creatively to gain market share that will pay extra dividends when the economy turns around,” he suggests.

Also, look for ways to build strong emotional ties to a brand. In tough economic times, loyalty and engagement are vital to keep consumers from switching brands to save a few pennies, Timmons explains.

Satellite interviews
What are some tips for satellite interviews?

It's important to look directly into the camera throughout the interview, says Ken Haseley, senior counselor at The Ammerman Experience. “It becomes the surrogate interviewer.” However, he adds, you should try to avoid making eye contact with the camera operator or anyone or anything else in the room.

“During the interview, you're always ‘on,' so maintain proper eye contact and demeanor,” Haseley advises. “Remember that although the interviewer or another guest may be talking, you may be the one on camera.”

To minimize the chances of having the earpiece come out, have the technician tape the wire to the back of your collar, he suggests. And if you frequently take part in remote interviews, consider buying your own earpiece.

“If you lose audio during an interview, don't panic,” notes Haseley. “Continue to talk because the problem can give you an opportunity to bridge to a point you'd like to make.”

Pro bono work
What do you do with a pro bono client that demands too much of your time and resources?

Nonprofit organizations often ask for free help, but sometimes don't know when to draw the line, says Michele Cuthbert, principal at Baker Creative.

“It starts with a request to write a few press releases and soon they ask for an entire campaign to be put together for free,” she adds. “Most PR firms only have so many hours and resources to devote to such projects.”

One way to keep your company executing fresh, charitable work without being bombarded with extra requests is to execute your own charitable campaign and select a certain nonprofit to benefit, says Cuthbert.

“This allows you to find your own resources, offer PR services, and maintain complete control of the project,” she explains.

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