With the day-to-day phone calls, emails, social media, networking, meetings and everything in between, as a PR Pro it can almost seem impossible to communicate with the clients we are working so hard for, as we work. But making communicating your efforts a part of your routine will actually help to solidify the valuable relationship between you and the clients you serve.
Silence isn’t always golden….
How many times have you been asked by a client “so, how are things going?” only to wonder silently “what do you mean? I’m working…” Well, it’s not such an unreasonable question, especially if your client hasn’t heard from you, with either a request for images to complete a Press Release or a time that they will be available to fulfill an interview request, or just an update on the “routine”. Isn’t it only normal that they are “curious”? They may even imagine that you’re off jet skiing or scuba diving as their campaign “runs itself”.
Never allow your clients’ imaginations to run away! It’s easy for misinterpretations to happen when no one is saying anything. We’re assuming that they know, while they simultaneously entertain the thought that we’ve gotten “too big” for their business. Even if you are slaving away, let your clients know. A simple email, phone call or even text message, can go a very long way.
Contrary to popular belief, good PR isn’t about spin, but more of personal connection and yes, personality; building that connection keeps us knowing what to deliver, much like we do in any relationship. So why can’t PR Progress reports, which can sometimes seem tedious, boring and even a little dull, have a little personality? Instead of the typical PDF black & white, “just the facts” reports, how about adding pics of you and your staff working? Sounds silly? Well, it’s really not that hard since that is what you are doing…right? And doesn’t it bring a little personality (oops, there’s that word again) to the typical? If you’re always at your computer, on the phone, or both and have to eat as “life happens” why not share that shot with your clients? No, not all of the time, just sometimes…but be careful to not send pictures of you dozing off at the computer, unless it’s midnight and you want to show that you’re willing to sacrifice sleep to “get it done”!Photo courtesy of femalehealth101.blogspot.com
Keep the balance…keep the peace
Just as it is necessary to communicate, letting your client know that a phone call with them won’t always be possible (in a nice, PR professional way of course) is necessary as well. A distracted mind is a task left undone. So in other words, the “needy” client, that may feel a little insecure and feel the need to always hear your voice, may need to be gently reminded that in order for you to produce results, you must focus on the tasks at hand. How can you focus on responding to that interview request or following a social media conversation or completing the research needed for their campaign if you’re giving them your undivided attention on a phone call…daily? But be careful with this reminder….you don’t want it to have the adverse affect.
With all the work that we do as PR Pros, we cannot forget to let our clients know what it’s like to be us, sometimes. We study their businesses, projects, careers, fan base, target audience, etc., but do they have a clue as to what they signed up for and what it is that you and your staff actually do from day-to-day? Let them know, and build the bond. You’ll be glad you did!
-Toni L. Rousell, Publicist & PR Pro