Should We Be Educating Our Clients About Public Relations?
I’m part of a few closed Facebook groups for public relations professionals. These groups are great resources when seeking out recommendations for vendors, advice on handling a specific project or to interact with media looking for sources.
These groups sometimes act as a sounding board when someone is struggling with something and needs to get some opinions from others in the industry.
Recently, one of the group members posted that she is feeling like she is spending quite a bit of time educating her client on the role of public relations, what makes a good story and why (or why not) to pitch something. She asked if there were others that felt the same way.
Of course, we educate our clients.
As I posted in the group, I see our role first as a counselor and then a strategic implementer. We should spend time counseling our clients/organizations on what is newsworthy, why one outlet is better for the story than another, why a social post will or won’t work. We’re smart, strategic and understand what the media is looking for. Isn’t that, after all, the reason we’ve been hired?
Setting the expectation early in the relationship that our role is not simply to rubber stamp every idea and figure out how to make it work. But rather to have a healthy exchange of ideas, push back on some, advance others and come together on a strategy that is in the best interest of the organization.
We come to each client with fresh ideas, an objective outside view of the organization and with a deep understanding of the strategies and tactics that work best based on the goals.
That is as much (maybe more) of what we’re being paid for as the results themselves. Good client relationships are built on trust. We trust that our clients know their business best and they trust we know ours.
That’s how we’ll achieve success.