A friend of mine asked me a while back what she should be doing as an in house PR to get the best out of her agency. She constantly felt let down by the team and wanted to make sure she wasn’t making things worse….
Put this together but would love to hear others’ thoughts about their idea of the perfect client.
1. Brief them – properly. If things change, brief them again
2. Use your nous and bring them in at the appropriate time, Too early and your entire budget will go on briefing them unnecessarily, too late and it’ll be hard to get to grips with the topic properly
3. Invite them in. More than that actually, encourage it…Have them hot desk and meet the sales teams and execs. the more they talk the more stories they’ll uncover and the better the results
4. Define what you want – let them figure out how to get there
5. Understand how the agency works, what do they bill for? Are there hidden costs (there shouldn’t be)? Who does invoicing? Can you talk direct to accounts to resolve any issues rather than eating into the account team’s time.
6. Feel comfortable with your team. Personality clashes happen – if you don’t get on with someone, ask for a team change/refresh
7. Give regular feedback – if it works for you to have one on ones rather than all team meetings, ask for that. The best relationships will be built if you feel you can be honest and stop any issues before they appear
8. Understand that things won’t always go to plan but demand the team compensates….so if journalists drop out of an event at the last minute, it doesn’t matter because the team set up more briefings than were required anyway
9. Get senior time. Your business deserves experienced people – make sure you get them
10. Motivate the team. They typically work for a few clients so make sure they enjoy the work you give them and pull together on the tough/less fun stuff. Partnerships can be put to the test in crisis times for example but a team that pulls together will usually get much better results
11. Be fair and supportive
13. Be an advocate for the agency. If people within the company want the PR role explained – do it in a supportive way – in other words back them or sack them