I often find myself asking people to “think like the client.” This concept is ironically simple and complex, yet when mastered can go a long way in delivering client service that is truly a notch above.
To think like the client, here are a few key tidbits that may help get someone one step closer to becoming a “client whisper”:
1. Know the business priorities. Ultimately PR is a tactic to drive sales. Of course we want to be strategic, creative while developing 360 campaigns that hit traditional and social channels, but why do we do this? To drive sales! Knowing what the business goals are of any company, can greatly help shift a PR plans focus for an initiative/plan and ensure we’re progressing towards the bottom line for clients. And knowing these goals will also help any PR person navigate and be nimble along the way, leading to better and quicker results.
2. Your boss’, boss. Everyone has a boss, including our clients. And these bosses are all under pressure to deliver results that tie back to the business priorities. Keep this in mind when a client is asking for an update – do they want a quick temperature check? Or do they need an update they can share easily internally? Depending on the answer, how you frame the update could vary significantly. Knowing your boss’ boss also comes in handy in helping to juggle and multi-task throughout the day; if you have 10 “urgent” needs, figure out which are most important to your client… odds are it’s what your day-to-day contact is feeling pressure from their boss on, that becomes your focus for the day as well.
3. Make PR a Hero. Once you have a clear understanding of business priorities, and can get to the core of what your boss’ boss wants, make PR a hero via updates that show the brilliance behind all the work being done. Cut out any jargon and speak/write in a relatable way to showcase the many benefits of layered tactics (video, social, media relations, events, etc.). PR can indeed impact larger business goals in a great way, so speak to that and help your results shine, which will ultimately make PR shine and remain relevant within the wider company needs.
At the end of the day, we are lucky enough to have clients that view us as extensions of their team… so keep in mind what they need, and why they need it, to remain one step ahead and a true partner on the account.