Being a successful PR pro goes hand in hand with effectively navigating multiple relationships around you: getting the media what they need, answering to multiple supervisors who oversee different accounts, and, of course, making all your clients happy.
If that juggling act weren’t enough, now throw more agencies into the mix. This may include PR firms that focus on other regions or verticals, or a group with a completely different function, like an ad or event agency.
Relationships with other teams can be challenging. We rarely have any say in the selection of these agencies, and it’s easy to become competitive if your skills or services overlap. But the following tips will help you achieve and maintain a successful multi-agency relationship.
Have you ever met someone whose email personality was so different from their actual nature that you misjudged them? It’s easy to misinterpret something in writing, or to form inaccurate opinions about someone you’ve only communicated with online.
Avoid this blunder by getting to know the other agency staffers on a more personal level. Instead of having your introductory meeting over the phone, suggest doing it in person or via video. If possible, hold in-person meetings every quarter (rotating who hosts is a good way to minimize travel and inconvenience), and even consider annual team-building events.
The bottom line: If you know the other agencies on a more personal level, your working relationship will be better.
You’re all working toward the same goal: your client’s success. So, instead of letting your competitive side take over, think of the other teams as an extended support system.
Next time you’re in a creative bind, consider bouncing your idea off a partner agency instead of the person in the cube next to you. Besides, who better to brainstorm with than someone else who lives and breathes the account as you do?
Define your roles.
Never assume that partner agencies will have the same vision as yours when it comes to dividing and conquering. If your roles aren’t clearly delineated, or if there are potential areas of overlap, tackle them at the start of your relationship.
Being a good partner will make your job—and life—easier, and the client will appreciate your professionalism. Also, you never know where new relationships can lead. It’s no secret that many business opportunities come from other agencies, and the communications world is a small one.
A version of this story originally appeared on Crenshaw Communications’ PR Fishbowl blog.