The first three months are never easy…
It is never easy to start working for a new client. Those are typically very challenging and critical times. All the hard work that you have done in the past to win the account can rapidly be wasted if you do not operate and execute the campaign in the appropriate way. For clients, these are critical times, too. They’ve invested time and money in a new PR agency and need to be assured they will get their promised results.
Here are some of our best practices for making sure both agency and client gets the best out of these crucial times:
Start on the right footing
The first meeting with the client, and we’re talking about the starting pitch, has to be the base on which everything else will be built on. That’s where the parameters of activity will be established, where the first feelings of ‘chemistry’ (or lack of it) will show and that will prove so important later on during the client-provider relationship. Those early stages will be the time to read and interpret all the important signals in order to keep the client satisfied with the best results possible for years to come.
Get stuck in
Get involved, and if it’s not your speciality, learn with motivation. There is no other secret. Dedication and time spent getting to know the industry or sector in which your (new) client operates is fundamental in order to achieve the desired goals. It is true that all this knowledge and specialization is not learned overnight, but you should have all the skills and previous experience to be able to do the rest and start impressing your client.
Make it a reality
It is not so much a job, but rather an attitude. It’s about offering and portraying confidence to your client and showing him/her from the first time that what you promise will become a reality. Three months is more than enough time to show that you can work together.
Learn from (their) experience
It is an exercise of logic rather than an audit. It is natural that the new client/company explains to you what has worked and what has not in the past; what they have liked and what they have not liked (from the previous agency or experience). Based on all that, the right thing to do is to take advantage of everything good and discard everything that is not that good, in order to achieve new formulas, as well as new ways of working.
We must present ourselves with an open and collaborative attitude and take advantage of synergies and common goals. You can always learn from what others did, recognising that the right thing to do is to “not change it if it works”.
You’re the expert
It all depends on the expectations of your new client. Certainly, there might be pressure, often self-imposed, to get the CEO on the front page as a way to start the relationship. However, this strategy is not always the best way to start a working relationship between the agency and the new client. Reasoned advice on why the CEO should (or should not) appear in a given media title should have much more importance and value. If we have or want to tell something new, then our value as an agency can be demonstrated sooner rather than later.