Communication…it’s paramount to any working relationship. Whether we’re talking about a husband and wife, or employee and employer, if there isn’t good communication you can count on there being a breakdown. And when it comes to a PR professional and their client, well, it’s no different.
The truth is that a client can find the best PR pro available, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship will prove successful. That being said, here are a few tips to make sure the communication lines are open and the relationship is mutually beneficial.
A PR Pro Needs Immediate Access to the Product or Service
First and foremost, a PR pro needs to become intimately familiar with the product or service his client sells. That means, as a client, you need to make sure you hold nothing back. Open the doors, so to speak, and let them see what you have to offer. You also need to be open to any critiquing that may follow.
On the other hand, the PR pro must make sure to thoroughly experience the product, and provide any feedback they deem necessary. Be honest—you can’t be afraid to hurt feelings. Although, if you have something negative to say, make sure you do it in as gentle a way as possible.
Frequent Status Updates Are a Necessity
For communication to truly be open, it’s going to take a plan. Random phone calls here and there are not going to cut it, as one party is sure to not make contact as often as the other would like. With that in mind, make sure you schedule:
- Weekly phone calls—Email is not enough. Sometimes there won’t be anything to talk about, but it’s important to touch base verbally to keep the lines open. It also gives you a chance to get to know one another. Weekly sound like too much? Consider every other week, at the very least.
- Email updates—While communication should not be restricted to email, regular documentation is important. PR pros should provide monthly reports/updates to clients in their inbox. On the other hand, clients need to make sure to read them in full. This is the best way for the client to understand what direction their PR pro is taking. It also lets them see that their money is being put to good use.
Clients, Make Sure You Hand Over the Info Needed
If you want your PR professional to do the best job possible, you need to make sure you are providing what they need. This could include:
- Access—As mentioned earlier, you need to be an open book to them.
- Content—This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re writing the content, but at least provide bullet points for ideas as you think of them.
- Feedback—Think they are doing a good job? Know what they could do better? They won’t know unless you tell them.
Remember, communication is a two-way street. Whether you are the PR pro trying to get media exposure for your client, or the client hoping their PR pro can get them in the limelight…either way you have to make sure you are doing what you can to make the other party successful. And you can’t do that without frequent, open communication.
What other tips do you have for the PR professional – client relationship? Please share with us in the comments section!
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download Five (5) Free PR and Press Release eBooks ($67 Value) here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/bundle.html