3 Lessons in: Client Relations

By Vanessa Boynton

Welcome to Lessons in PR, an ongoing series of public relations tips and advice from the professionals at Matter Communications. Have your own tip to submit? Respond in the comments or email vboynton@matternow.com.

Ever lost a client because you didn’t “gel”? Ever had a project slip through your fingers, and you know you could have done more to keep it? Yes – we’ve all been there.

We spend a lot of time talking about how to improve our relationships with media, and even customers/end users. But our clients’ values, aspirations, products and initiatives are what really drive the work we do every day. Luckily, there are simple methods we can employ to make sure our client relationships are beacons of trust and communication:

  1. Get in Their Heads. “Read what your clients are reading. Relevance resonates, so it’s important to read-up on industry trends affecting your clients, and not just from media standpoint.” – Claire Papanastasiou, Director
  1. One Size Does NOT Fit All. “Get to know your individual client contacts. No two accounts are the same – nor do they want to communicate in the same way. While onboarding, pay attention to their preferences. You’ll see soon enough whether they like smiley faces or no-nonsense; phone calls or in-person meetings; lots of details or just the essentials, etc.” – Jackie Fraser, Account Executive
  1. Visit the Trenches. “Sit down with the sales team. Whether you and your PR team are just getting on board with a new company, or you’ve been working with them for years, you need to get everyone together: PR, marketing and, most importantly, sales. If outbound communication doesn’t line up with the language used by the sales team, there’s a dangerous gap. Sales personnel know the product and they know how to sell it. PR pros know how to put together and implement killer company messaging. Learn from them, educate them and get everybody on the same page.” – Jackie Fraser, Account Executive