A long-standing client I both admire and respect once told me there are five, not four Ps in the Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Place, Promotion … and Partners. His point validates the approach our Strategic Objectives agency team has lived by for decades — the best partnerships start with a strong client-agency relationship, a partnership of collaboration and teamwork that makes us an extension of our client’s marketing team.
Building this great relationship takes time, practice, experience, chemistry and let’s face it — even mistakes. Speaking for our agency, I can tell you that we crave clients who are willing to go the distance, listen, learn, grow, and trust our expertise to deliver exceptional results. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of Canada’s best clients since joining Strategic Objectives in 1999 and am grateful for the strong, long-standing client-agency partnerships we’ve developed through the years.
Like every relationship, both personal and professional, establishing and maintaining solid partnerships is on-going hard work that evolves, and ideally grows over time. Here are my
Guidelines for a Healthy Client Agency Partnership:
- Manage Expectations
Understand how you will benefit from each other and set clear, measurable, and attainable goals that are mutually agreed upon. This will avoid, or at least minimize, any future disappointment.
- Educate One Another
Clients don’t necessarily know and understand PR, and agencies don’t necessarily know everything about their client’s business. Take the time needed to educate one another and use this to your advantage.
Listening is so much more effective than hearing. Take time to listen carefully and understand what your partner is trying to communicate. This will eliminate future frustration and misunderstandings.
- Frequent Communication
Every relationship needs nurturing. Always ensure your lines of communication are open and that both parties are available to one another. Regularly-scheduled daily or weekly telephone or e-meetings are very helpful. At Strategic Objectives, we usually send a comprehensive ePR Flash every Friday, summarizing our activities and results, setting assignments, reminders and goals for the week/s ahead, when accounts are in high gear.
- Celebrate Accomplishments and Achievements
Be personal. Your clients are people too. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments in our personal lives, and this should be no different in your client-agency relationship. Take time to celebrate as a team following a successful campaign. Keep track of birthdays and the anniversary of your partnership — a hand-written note or greeting card lets your client know how much you appreciate your relationship.
- Say Thank You
It’s easy to send an email when something goes wrong … but it’s just as easy and WAY more rewarding to communicate when something goes right! Be sure to share good news in a timely way. And remember a simple “thank you” will go a long way.
Are you looking for a PR agency with years of experience developing strong relationships and award-winning programs to tell your brand story? Our Strategic Objectives Team can help. Please give us a shout!
We’re great listeners
Let's talk about your goals, your consumers, and how we'll connect the two.