A succesful PR campaign begins with the client

  • Getting a client or a boss to realise the value of PR is not just about “magic words”. There are several steps.
  • It starts right at the beginning of the relationship which we’ll cover here.
  • When you meet a potential client or boss, interview them. Interview them like a journalist yourself and think, “Would I be interested in hearing this person?” If not, would anyone else?
  • A boss or client who can interview well doesn’t just mean they could be good for the media. It also means they can communicate their thoughts well and understand the value of good and interesting communication.
  • Try giving the person advice. Do they listen or do they want you to just “deliver results!” A successful campaign relies on a client who wants to learn and follow your advice. Are they excited to listen to what you have to say or do they glaze over when you explain things?
  • Tell them where they might appear and see how they react. A nervous client can be trained. An unimpressed person who rejects your ideas, is not going to be a good match. 
  • Be clear with them on what you can realistically deliver and be sure they are happy with that. It’s always better to slightly underpromise and overdeliver. That leads to referrals.
  • Difficult clients can be an incredible draw on time and resources (and mental energy). Be honest. Would that time be better spent finding new clients than servicing bad ones? 
  • A good PR client/boss relationship is about “education”, not “negotiation”. If you are spending too much time on the latter, you got the wrong boss. 
  • If you have a poor client, be careful about pushing journalists too hard to run their story. It might delight the client but you may damage your relationship with the journalist and that could damage your long-term livelihood.
  • And finally, accept the fact that sometimes you need to cut your losses. Some relationships may start out well but turn sour. If it’s going nowhere, get out and focus on somewhere where you can excel and a client who you can deliver for.

Photo by Anna Shvets: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-a-paper-3727463/