Nicole Rodrigues

Three Building Blocks for Starting Smart: A Client’s Guide to PR Success

By: Nicole Rodrigues | March 3, 2016 | 

Three Building Blocks for Starting Smart: A Client’s Guide to PR Success

By Nicole Rodrigues

There are many things PR professionals wish they could tell their clients, such as what to reasonably expect after hiring a PR team or things company executives can do to help get results.

You’ve been hired to raise brand awareness, build credibility, and bring in media coverage, but you can’t do it alone!

If only there was a helpful little cheat sheet to explain exactly what PR agencies do and how they do it.

Fret no more!

Here are the top three things you can–and should—tell your clients so they understand how to get the most from their relationship with you and/or your team.

Success = Commitment to the Relationship

PR professionals are here to give clients a clear picture of where their company stands in terms of industry coverage, credibility, and recognition, and to provide recommendations on how to achieve future business goals.

A PR pro or team is hired for their expertise and if you aren’t ready to act on our recommendations, we’re both going to be frustrated and progress will be slow.

We’re here to help you move forward, but we’re limited by your willingness to share what you’re doing with us and why it matters.

Set Realistic Expectations

You’ve hired us, given where you stand today.

Let us tell you what’s possible and what’s not.

We want to get you covered in the top publications in your field and we will, but that doesn’t happen on day one.

Yes, we have connections with top journalists, but their number one job is covering newsworthy stories relevant to their audience.

Their readers are smart and will know when an article comes from a wink and a nod favor for a friend who represents the company’s interests.

Fulfilling our recommendations will establish you as a thought leader.

At the outset, this is typically with lower-level publications.

However, as your company and your credibility grows, we move you into mid-level publications, and eventually you’re ready to play in the big leagues.

To put it bluntly: Please, give us what we ask for and then step back and let us do our jobs.

Respond Responsibly

We will always follow through and work tirelessly to keep you informed of our progress.

When we reach out to you—whether we’re requesting a comment, your availability for an interview, or a piece of content—we’re doing it to get you coverage.

All too often a CEO or CMO will hire an agency, but not respond to their requests.

We need someone on your team who is accountable for making this relationship successful.

Dedicate a point person who is responsible for responding when requests come in real-time.

Once you’ve hired us, hand over the reins.

It’s your job to make your company worth talking about.

It’s our job to secure coverage and help you get to the point where you’re leading the conversation.

The PR PRactical Guide

Want to learn more?

Check out the video below for a more in-depth look at how you can help your client understand how to get the most out of you and your PR team.

This video is part of “PRactical Guide to Publicity,” a video series that teaches C-Level executives—especially CEOs and CMOs—the true benefits of strategic PR.

Because these executives are often times the ones hiring public relations professionals, this series was created to help those without a background in PR understand the ever-changing media landscape and what agencies are here to do.

Watch more from “PRactical Guide to Publicity” here!

image credit: shutterstock

About Nicole Rodrigues

Nicole is the CEO and founder of NRPR Group. She’s a seasoned publicist and social media marketing pro who loves helping individuals and businesses define their brands, and effectively network themselves both on and offline. When she’s not working, networking or spending time on social media channels, she golfs, watches sports, movies, and as much TV/Hulu/Netflix/YouTube as possible.

  • Love it. Congrats for the initiative, Nicole!

    • Thank you, Corina! We are really excited to share the series with everyone. We had a blast making it!

  • Lindsey Frayn

    I found your tips to be very helpful because not only are they honest but they keep the relationship between the client and the PR team strong and trustworthy. I especially liked your point about nominating an internal point person for the company. This is the first I’ve heard about a “point person” so would it be the spokesperson for the company, or someone completely different?

    • Great question, Lindsey! It certainly doesn’t have to be the spokesperson or a spokesperson, simply someone responsible for arming your PR team with answers, assets and everything they need, when they needed. Since most PR teams spend most of their time outside of the walls of a client’s company, when valuable information is passed internally and the PR team doesn’t get it, because no one is on-point to share, great ops and insights can be missed. That’s the worst! Additionally, whenever a PR team is in need of quick assets, answers, approvals, if there is no point-person who’s responsible for helping quickly, reporters who need things on deadline aren’t able to be helped fast enough. I hope that answers your question. I always advise CEOs who hire us to find someone OTHER THAN THEMSELVES to be responsible for helping us with internal needs, unless they vow to be super responsive and responsible, which he have experienced – thankfully! 🙂

  • Catherine Sammon

    I really enjoyed this post! Out of all of these topics, what do you think is the most important tactic to have between a client and a PR team? And what is your best piece of advice to have the best possible relationship?

    • Hi Catherine, great question! DEFINITELY commitment. Both sides HAVE to be committed to the success of the working relationship. That goes for the PR team as well. A commitment to success means everyone is working towards the greater good. Great PR doesn’t happen by itself. And it certainly can’t happen without the internal powers that be arming the team with great fodder to work with. If everyone is committed, great things can happen. So, my advice: if you’re hired by a client, commit to doing every single thing you can to make the relationship work. Communicate often. Report results and issues as they happen and chase when you’re not getting what you need. Hope that answers your question!

  • Emily Onustock

    I really enjoyed reading your tips and found them very insightful. I am still a student finishing my last year up studying public relations. Although I have not yet stepped into the world of corporate PR, or had the opportunity to work directly with clients, I am still curious as to the most effective ways to work together. I really like that you touch on commitment to the relationship.