10 Tips for Establishing Strong Client-Agency Relationships

Excelling at client relations is an invaluable skill to have at a public relations agency. While it is a learning process, and every client is different, here are 10 sure-fire tips to help keep the client-agency relationship on the right path:

  1. Set realistic expectations. The agency should understand what challenges the client faces with regard to timing, budget, priorities and limitations. The client should also know what timing and results are possible and realistic for the agency.
  2. Get to know the client personally and professionally. It’s easy to want to get down to business instead of building the relationship with the client. When the time is right, learn a thing or two about the client without being intrusive.
  3. Add value to weekly meetings. Weekly meetings shouldn’t be a reading off of the to-do list. You should be contributing up to three new ideas every week and reporting progress made from the previous week.
  4. Call the client. Email is great and has its purpose, but you should engage with the client in other ways, too. Pick up the phone or meet face to face. Some of the best ideas are generated during these conversations.
  5. Acknowledge all client emails. Even if you don’t have the answer to a client’s question right away, always respond acknowledging you received the message and say when you’ll be able to give a proper response.
  6. However, it might not always be a two-way street. Don’t get upset if the client doesn’t respond to your calls or emails in a timely manner. Clients have a lot going on internally and spend many hours in meetings and conference calls. Cut them some slack.
  7. Build trust. Mutual trust is critical. It is important to build a solid foundation. You should set and meet deadlines and communicate with the client often. Demonstrate willingness to go the extra mile.
  8. Deliver results. If you are not delivering results for the client, the client will find someone else who can. To ensure their needs are met, check in regularly to make sure campaign efforts are in line with client priorities and expectations.
  9. Share bad news early on. It’s better to share bad news with the client sooner than later. No matter what it is, the client has the right to hear about it as soon as possible. Be upfront and then work on the solution together.
  10. Be the client. Within the agency, the account team is the client. The team is an extension of their marketing team and represents the client to the rest of the agency. Therefore, the team should always have the client’s best interests at heart.

Some additional articles I found helpful:

I’d love to see what you can add to the list!

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