How to be an excellent client
Written by: Jennifer LaVoie-Trimble, Publicist
Public relations is all about communication. We communicate to journalists, who then communicate to the public. Want to know how to be an excellent client? It is essentially being a good communicator. When you launch a PR campaign, you need to come with enthusiasm and be prepared to follow through and respond promptly to your publicist and media requests.
I always find joy in client relationships. I encourage new businesses that I work with to have confidence in our journey ahead working together as a team. I like to support them by helping them build upon their natural strengths and experiences to boost their spirits and encourage them to keep positive with an open line of communication every step of the way. Excellent clients understand and respect the PR process and recognize that we are a team.
Many of our clients have full-time careers on top of being entrepreneurs. We are mindful that some of them are launching their first new product/business. Others left their former careers to go full-speed ahead as solo entrepreneurs. Some are family-run, like a mom and daughter team or a husband and wife duo, and they are utilizing their strengths to get their business off the ground. I always encourage balance. You can only gain as much as you give.
Set Realistic Expectations
The best clients set realistic expectations. Everyone wants to be covered by Oprah and The New York Times. Please know that your publicists are working on it. Your publicist will always let you know as soon as we secure new media interest, coverage, or receive a response. There is never a guarantee with PR and top-tier media placements often take time to secure. Even if the media decides to pass on covering your business, we are always opening doors to new opportunities. The timing could be in the near future as we continue to stay in front of them sharing fitting angles ongoing. I enjoy creating relationships with my new clients and with members of the media so they become long-time partnerships. It’s only natural as we are all working together to share the good news.
A great client is one you know you can count on to meet media requests in a timely way. A great client understands that we are all working on the journalist’s timeline so that hopefully each opportunity comes to fruition. We also want them to be assured that when the media has shared interest in their product and requests more information or a product sample for review, we will continue to follow up and sharing all updates along the way with them.
As you become a client with a PR firm you want to have a summary of your business that suits your outreach to media, customers, retailers, etc. You need to have readily available lifestyle images in high-resolution, a logo, demo videos, along with your website live for consumers to purchase products there. Also, be sure to have plenty of sample products available for media ready to ship out quickly when they express interest to try out your product. Many clients also benefit by having media kits ready-to-share too. You may find it helpful to provide a frequently asked FAQ questions page on your website to help new customers and media learn more about your product usage. Be confident and be sure to re-post or spread the good news about your press placements on social media when your business is in the news. Keep the good news rolling! 🙂
- Think about your product from the end-user point of view. What would make you want to try the product? Provide us with those examples to share with the media – a case study of use, trusted source recommendation (doctor, teacher, chef…whatever applies).
- Share your news with us. You never know what development might be just the right angle to capture the interest of the media.
- Keep us in the loop on your schedule. Please let us know where key executives might be traveling or trade shows you are attending or speaking at – and provide us as much notice as possible.
Shoot us an email if you see a trend happening that you think we might tie into. We’re looking too, but you might see it before us or see a tie-in that isn’t as obvious to us, and we welcome you to share it.
Those are my tips on how to be an excellent client. I hope you’ll come work with us here at Orca Communications soon!