A Portrait of a Good PR Client – Part 1, Understanding Your Goals

Ask an agency person what constitutes a good client and they’re sure to have a wish list at the ready. And I’ll guarantee you “a big budget” isn’t the #1 criterion! No matter how much money you throw at a project, without proper direction and effective collaboration, success is unlikely. As we worked with a design firm to re-launch the Newsmaker Group website, we had the opportunity to experience things from the client-side and, boy, was it an eye opener! So with today’s blog we begin a series of posts that share our thoughts on what makes a good client. (And, NO, we won’t admit which we had trouble with ourselves! Suffice it to say, we never stop learning!)

Trait #1 – Understanding your goals. When you embark on a public relations program, odds are your overarching purpose is to increase sales, drive another type of action, or simply to “generate publicity”. But these are too vague for an effective strategic communications plan. Marketing teams need specifics to create an effective strategy that achieves meaningful goals to positively impact your business. So consider additional details as part of a communications audit, such as:

  • Who are your key competitors and what are they up to?
  • What are your unique selling points and what impact can you reasonably expect these will have on your target market?
  • Can a member of your team be positioned as an industry thought leader, and if so, what would be the benefits?
  • What is the size of your marketplace and what type of reasonable growth can you expect?
  • Can you prioritize the demographics of the target audiences you’re looking to motivate?
  • What communications efforts have been successful for you in the past? Which have not?

With this type of information, your PR agency can effectively plan and strategize your integrated marketing communication campaign. If you’re unsure how to articulate these details, don’t hesitate to ask the agency for advice. Or, for comparison, reference other campaigns that appear to have had similar objectives. Certainly no two campaigns can (or should) be the same, but it’s a starting point for identifying and communicating your goals.

To be continued — Trait #2 – being realistic about results and timing…

Written by Lynn Schwartz

An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Lynn is a true public relations generalist with experience in a wide variety of disciplines and industry sectors.

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  1. [...] PR programs must be strategic. Once you have determined your communications objectives (see A Portrait of a Good PR Client – Part 1, Understanding You Goals), the PR team can analyze the best way to reach your target audiences and [...]

  2. [...] programs must be approached strategically. Step one, determine your communications objectives (see A Portrait of a Good PR Client – Part 1, Understanding You Goals). What are you looking for? Investors? Selling your company? Increasing sales among [...]

  3. [...] programs must be approached strategically. Step one, determine your communications objectives (see A Portrait of a Good PR Client – Part 1, Understanding You Goals). What are you looking for? Investors? Selling your company? Increasing sales among [...]

  4. [...] programs must be approached strategically. Step one, determine your communications objectives (see A Portrait of a Good PR Client – Part 1, Understanding You Goals). What are you looking for? Investors? Selling your company? Increasing sales among [...]

  5. Quora wrote:

    How do you know when it is the right time to start and try to get PR for your start up? We are heading into beta but not sure when to lift the veil….

    There are many things you need to take into consideration when choosing to use PR services for your business. For example, you need to be aware of what your real goals are. And by goals, I don’t mean vague purposes formulated such as “to increase sales…


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