I’ve been a PR consultant as well as a client, so I’ve seen both sides of the fence. I know what it’s like to operate on the outside, trying to read the tea leaves to figure out what’s going on in my client’s world. And, as an in-house PR manager, I’ve also experienced the frustration of my inherited PR agency not completely being on the same page as me (I corrected that quickly).
Walking in your client’s—or your prospect’s shoes—is an essential skill for any PR practitioner. It’s not something you can learn in a book. It’s a state of mind, a commitment.
It’s up to each of us to invest time every day to nurture our client and prospect relationships—to understand their universes, challenges, and goals—so that we can contribute to their success. In March, my colleague Beth Monaghan wrote that good PR is the careful balance of confidence and empathy, and I believe this applies to client service, too.
There are many ways to make your client love you (and, quite frankly, vice versa). These are my cardinal rules: