Much has been written on how to choose a PR firm, but little on the client’s role in forging a successful, long-term partnership. Here are tips to becoming a PR firm’s “dream” client.
- Set realistic goals and measurement metrics for your PR program: Whether your company’s business objectives are to grow market share, recruit employees or increase brand recognition, it’s important to clearly communicate your expectations and set realistic goals for your PR program. You and your firm need to agree from the outset on the metrics by which you will measure outcomes.
- Stay actively involved and accessible: If you plan to stay in the background once you’ve hired a PR firm, think again. You (or your appointee) will need to be the firm’s day-to-day contact to maintain two-way flow of information and communications. And stay accessible; a top-notch firm will be proactive to keep your program progressing, but will need your ongoing input. Teamwork and collaboration are the keys to a fruitful partnership.
- Be responsive – very: Today’s 24/7/365 media news cycle, fueled by social media, is virtually deadline-free, creating an intense “need for speed.” The public’s thirst for news, whether from traditional media, bloggers or citizen journalists, is growing exponentially in this digital age. Respond to your firm’s requests for information in a timely manner (within reason, of course), or see those valuable opportunities go to your competitors.
- Establish a productive working rapport, yet respect personal boundaries: From the get-go, it’s important to mutually agree upon and set boundaries between personal and work life. You and your firm should address after-hours accessibility, such as your expectations for working nights and weekends. Ultimately, your company cultures and personalities need to fit. The more open and honest you are with your PR firm, the more productive you will be together.
Originally published in Orlando Business Journal