No matter how long you’ve been in business or worked to build your way up every new client presents a unique challenge. You can talk a big game all you want, and it is important to do so; but in the end you have to prove to each client that you’re worth the time and money they’re gambling.
So there are expectations. These expectations have to blow the clients away – not in their daring, but in their goals for the future. Your clients are risking their very business on your handling of their public relations, and if you mess it up they’re going to have to pick up the pieces. Put their fears at rest with the following tips.
No business leader wants a PR professional to come in with a “shot in the dark” mentality. Every single thing you plan on doing needs to be justified in some manner. It doesn’t mean you can’t be daring and/or provocative; it just means there needs to be reasoning behind your plans.
For example, if the client isn’t too keen on using social media, you have to sell them on it. Figure out exactly how (to the letter) the client will benefit from joining Facebook, et al. If you insist on doing things “just because” the client will become nervous – as well they should, as it makes your business look hazardous to their health.
A Calm Demeanor Under Pressure
Whether or not the business is under any strain at the time, your client wants you to come off like you know what you’re doing. That way they can relax when the proverbial poo-poo does hit the fan knowing that you’re at the helm and you would never sink the ship.
You can get this across to the client simply by handling day to day tasks with grace. Even daily tasks can prevent challenges, such as a blog post not getting turned in on time by one of your writers or a Twitter post going out with the wrong date for an event. How you react to this minor hiccups will tell the client you’re the person for the job…or that you’re a total danger to the company’s well-being and should be expunged post-haste!
Not all clients are realistic. Hopefully you’ve done your homework and haven’t hired someone who expects a zillion Facebook likes in an hour. However, even the most studious PR pro can encounter a client who just doesn’t understand how it all works.
The important thing here is to try and ground them – tell the process is an ongoing, growing entity that sometimes takes a while to get going. There are exceptions, sure, but they just prove the rule. Occasionally you’ll get someone who still doesn’t understand and wants their business to take off immediately. Most of the time, though, you should be able to convince them to take it easy and let you work your magic.
Let’s do a little role-reversal. What would you expect from a PR pro if you were the head of a big company?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html