PR Tips: How To Communicate With Your Client

If you’re in the magical world of public relations it means you’re a great communicator, have little to no trouble getting your point across and often talk to reporters and clients 24/7. While you’re often selling your clients, their ideas and products to the media, sometimes you’ll find that you also have to keep selling yourself to your client. There are times when you might get a bit of a dry spell or things aren’t going the way you planned. We’ve outlined a few scenarios you may run into with your beloved clients and offered a few tips for how

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How To Communicate With Your Client

If you’re in the magical world of public relations it means you’re a great communicator, have little to no trouble getting your point across and often talk to reporters and clients 24/7. While you’re often selling your clients, their ideas and products to the media, sometimes you’ll find that you also have to keep selling yourself to your client.

There are times when you might get a bit of a dry spell or things aren’t going the way you planned. We’ve outlined a few scenarios you may run into with your beloved clients and offered a few tips for how to communicate with your client effectively. Don’t hang up the phone just yet, read our tips below to maintain a positive and successful business relationship.

I Have A Friend Who Does PR…

Here’s the scenario – you bring your awesome idea to a client or send them the perfect proposal. They’ve spent some time looking at it but also sent it to their “friend who does PR.” This friend of theirs has given their opinion and told them a number of things that don’t align with what you’ve proposed – what do you do?

You may feel a little blindsided or even betrayed in a way, but remember that it’s totally fine to get a second opinion. However, said PR friend was not hired to work on this project for a reason. Consider the friend’s points and address them in a professional manner to your client. You have spent the time, energy and research to propose your points and ideas and know that you can execute them well, which is again, why your client hired you. Forbes has some great tips on how to push back the right way. If their ‘PR friend’ does make a valid point, put your ego aside and find a way to incorporate it in an organic way that can benefit both you and your client.

When Will I Be On The Front Page?

Every client wants to be on the front page of {insert publication here} but we know it’s not that simple. PR is a great industry where people think we pick up the phone and magically get our clients media placements. In reality, research, a compelling story and timeliness all work together to churn out great press. The scenario here is simple and very common – your client keeps asking you when they’re going to be on the front page and seem to get perturbed in the process.

The best thing to do here is manage their expectations. Explain your PR process and why you’ve pitched them to various outlets … and why the front page may or may not be realistic. It’s also a great time to show them the value add since you started working with them. Put together a report of the press they’ve garnered (we do these monthly), media impressions and how these metrics relate to website traffic or sales. PRSA addresses communicating PR value and we’ve tackled it on our blog as well. Make sure you know your worth and that your client does too.

I Need This Done ASAP Now!

Remember that thing about managing expectations? Well, sometimes clients get a little excited and want to get things done ASAP (our favorite four letter word). Though you should treat all of your clients as a priority, the minute you adhere to one ‘ASAP’ request, more start rolling in. So a client needs a press release written and sent within 24 hrs, fun scenario right? What do you do?

Now, if this press release is not going to make or break their company (seriously), explain to your client that you appreciate their request but that you cannot fulfill it such in a short time frame. Once again you can explain your process and the time it takes to complete it. Inc has some great tips about managing client expectations, like addressing a problem immediately and setting goals and timelines.

Hello? Are You Still There?

At this point your client should not have hung up on you. If you’ve communicated effectively, you’ve told your client how you work, shown them your value and managed expectations by outlining clear goals and timelines. The goal here is to protect yourself and your client so you have a healthy working relationship that will lead you to PR success and help your business thrive!

Do you have any other tips for communicating effectively with clients? Let us know in the comments below!

Belle Communication

Belle Communication is a woman-owned and led, nationally awarded and top-ranked digital PR agency that helps brands unlock the power of influencers. The firm serves the CPG, retail, restaurant, tourism and B2B industries, and has partnered with more than 80 brands including Dearfoams, Nestlé, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Nationwide Insurance.

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