PR agencies must give clients the whole truth, warts and all

Giving clients the unvarnished truth is not always easy, but it’s essential in today’s fast-moving media world. Here are ways to communicate that information.

Clients come to you for your vision and expertise and sometimes they expect you to just accentuate the positive and forget about the negative. But here’s the thing: the press won’t. And in today’s fast-moving media landscape, clients need to be prepped for reporters who ask the tough questions and expect real answers. Clients can’t gloss over things; they have to be prepared to tell the truth.

On the agency side, we must ensure that clients are aware of this reality. Clients—and the agencies that serve them—need to be aware of the big picture including the competition, the possible shortcomings of their business, and the tough questions they will get asked.

To do this, agencies must rely on the full scope of knowledge from their colleagues to understand exactly where the client fits into the landscape.

They also need to prepare by:

Reading everything related to your client’s business. It will be immediately apparent where the pitfalls lie. You can learn a lot from the right notes and missteps of others. Agencies should set up regular meetings/phone calls to discuss the landscape and what can be learned from how competitors are handling their issues.

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