A 'one-size fits all' approach to client management just doesn’t cut it in today’s highly competitive PR agency landscape. Given the numerous ways that PR can elevate your brand, it is important that PR agency client managers get to work quickly, both in terms of delivering tangible results, but also in terms of complementing a tailored communications strategy with a personable, engaging style of management.
While a strong first impression during a kick-off call is important, your PR agency client manager should quickly broaden the communication parameters away from polite, cordial discourse to more objective-driven and strategic lines of discussion. After a couple of weeks of engagement, you should have a good sense of the chemistry and likelihood of success. All going well, you should feel confident that they are suitably equipped to handle the myriad of tasks that will routinely require attention. For a closer look at the most important PR tools in an agency’s repertoire, check out this previous blog post. But for now, let’s look at how to evaluate your PR agency client manager.
1. Have a clear understanding of your PR objectives
Great PR agency client managers will take the time to appreciate the contours of your KPIs and objectives. In an ideal world, your PR agency manager will begin to feel like an extension of your team, a trusted comrade on the inside, as opposed to a vaguely familiar contractor.
Ask yourself the following questions: does the PR agency client manager demonstrate an acute understanding of your company’s vision, business and growth plans? Have they made an effort to build on this knowledge? And crucially, do they know what success looks like from your point of view?
2. Personalised service
The tone and tenor of calls with your PR agency manager will vary, depending on the tasks at hand, the urgency of deadlines, and the personalities involved. Your point of contact should be able to test the temperature of a call and communicate accordingly.
At times you will need a more close-knit, collaborative style of communication, and then again, sometimes a light-touch approach will be appropriate. A great PR agency client manager will recognise the importance of personalising their PR strategy based on your style and needs.
Not only should your PR agency manager be capable of handling your day-to-day, and week-to-week demands, they must demonstrate a willingness to go above and beyond to meet pressing deadlines, unburden your workload, and be a constant source of support.
The cornerstone of any relationship is communication, so your PR agency client manager should be both responsive and proactive in their engagement with you. You should always feel like your agency point of contact has your back, irrespective of external variables.
4. Big picture PR thinking
How your PR agency manager handles difficult scenarios will likely define their standing in your eyes. They may be called upon to safeguard your company’s corporate reputation, so it’s imperative that they are acutely aware of potential pain points and issues that could gain media traction.
Of course, not all challenges will be addressable ahead of time, but your agency manager should be able to forecast likely hiccups or issues that may arise in the short term. In these instances, he or she should know what steps to take to mitigate risk and alleviate pressure on you, while seamlessly communicating well.
This ‘big picture’ thinking is a hallmark of a great PR agency client manager, who should in turn, provide continuous, quality support that ultimately, makes your job easier and enables your business to grow.
If you enjoyed this blog, why not check out our catalogue of insightful pieces, including:
What’s in a PR strategy checklist?
How PR helps SEO
5 ways to measure the impact of public relations
A PR agency can play a key role in growing awareness of your brand, If you'd like to find out how we can help, contact Comit today.