Public Relations can be many things for a client. It can be sourcing a sponsorship deal, identifying a news story, supporting a client with their digital needs or writing fabulous awards submissions which can be a great way of generating their own publicity. It can be all of the above and so much more.
What is cannot be is a one way street.
Good PR will only work, when the client and the PR executive are working harmoniously together.
Sometimes this is easier said than done.
Often when we first meet with clients – usually those that have opted for one of our retainer packages – there is a great vibe and lots of buzz and excitement. They have chosen us to work on their brand and they are trusting us to help raise their profile, get them more business and generally make their companies or brands more successful than they have ever been.
They often have a list of things they want us to work on, but to their surprise, quite often so do we. What sometimes people don’t realise, that certainly at the start whilst our relationship is tentatively growing, they will have to work just as hard on the PR as we do.
You see the thing is our clients vary from hotels, sportsmen, cosmetic producers, B&Bs, festivals, windfarms, and micro renewables.
And as much as we research a topic or field of expertise, with the best will in the world, we cannot be an expert in every topic and we certainly would never pretend to be as clued up as our clients about their own firms.
Sometimes working in PR is a learning curve for both us and client. We have to learn very fast about a subject which is totally new to us. They have to catch on pretty quick as to what might help boost their brand.
It can be a juggling act. We know the ways to get our clients the publicity, but it will only work if they are giving us the ammunition to use. We have to become experts in teasing out the information we need to turn something into a story, or give us a hook for an advertising campaign or blog idea. Our journalism skills come in to their own here, but I sometimes wonder if a degree in psychology or even counselling wouldn’t go a miss too.
PR will only work if we know what’s going on and it’s up to us as the PR firm to keep those lines of communication open. Just by chance today, I was speaking to one client about a particular avenue we are going down, when they happened to mention something else, which unknown to them would make a perfect little blog post.
Our clients are not daft. They are all highly intelligent people, running their own businesses, but that’s sometimes the problem, they are so darn busy securing their own clients, dealing with their own accounts or staff, or any one of a million other things that having your own business means, that the PR aspect sometimes gets left on the bottom of the to do list.
We have the same problem at Chit Chat, except it’s our own PR that keeps getting bumped to the bottom of the pile. We are so busy doing PR for everyone else that we barely have time to do our own. Numerous times now, Marc and I have scheduled a meeting to work on our own brand only to have to cancel so we can help one of our clients. We are not moaning – that’s what we are here for – the advantage is, we get it. We know how busy business owners are, because we are business owners ourselves