I can do a PowerPoint presentation in my sleep. I can include flashy phrases such as “Return on Investment” and “Media Landscape” and when it comes to pitching to clients, I spend most of the time in the presentation trying to read their every cue. What’s it like to sit on the other side of the fence and play the client, I often wonder, and what type of client are they?
Working across a range of brands, our public relations agency comes across so many different personality traits and client ‘type’. Here’s the break down…
The ‘I want everything but I have no money’ client
Ahhh, that old chestnut. Champagne on a beer budget – when really, this is the client that should be the one that sets the boundaries so they know what they want, what they need, and how we can support them. If they have a dime to spend, then we’ll suggest a dime PR campaign. As a public relations agency in Sydney we realise it’s competitive, so we try to work within the client’s budget so that we don’t turn them off PR and let them fob it off as being too expensive, when really, it shouldn’t be.
The ‘I’ve heard I need PR, but what’s it all about – do you write the stories?’ client
This is the client that needs education. They need strict PR management so that collectively we set expectations for the outcomes of the campaign. They need to know that their stories won’t appear tomorrow and that we’re bound by lead times. A public relations agency of skilled consultants will be able to educate the client as to what they should expect from a PR campaign and how we use our skills to achieve results. And for the record, no we don’t write the stories; that’s the job of the journo!
The ‘I’ve worked with every public relations agency in Sydney what makes you different?’ client
This is the client you need to be careful of; if they’ve worked with every public relations agency in Sydney then maybe it’s the client not the agency that caused the severance. A quick assessment and research of the results to date will swiftly determine how successful (or unsuccessful) the public relations agency has performed. This is the type of client that needs expectations to be managed.
The ‘I just want someone to look after me, guide me, and help me get my brand out there’ client
Ahhh, someone who trusts you. Someone who knows you’re going to look after them, report to them weekly, send them stories daily and improve their brand profile with every story pitched. Not all public relations agencies are lucky enough to have clients like this where they can hold the reins of the campaign, but skilled public relations consultants can work with these clients to exceed their client’s expectations.
What type of client are you?
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