In my time as Managing Director of WordStorm I have come across two types of clients. The first are the dream type – they understand that great publicity does not come about overnight and they trust that over the period of time that we have agreed to work together we will do our best to exceed their expectations. These type of clients end up reaping the rewards of a brilliantly successful campaign and our relationship becomes a long term one.
The second type of clients are more complex and difficult to work with. From the moment they sign the dotted line they are suspicious that you are not working hard enough on their campaign, after the first month they query why they are not all over the news and they question the validity of every press release that you suggest. Once a press release is sent they take three weeks to approve it and then ask why nobody has picked it up within that time period!
Unfortunately in the game of PR, we cannot give guarantees at the commencement of a campaign. Whenever we meet with a new client we are always asked how many articles will be lined up in the first three/six/twelve months? My answer is always that I cannot tell them exactly the number of clippings that will come out however I can guarantee that we will use our expertise in this area to lock in as much media exposure as possible.
I understand that a new client who has not been given guarantees may be nervous until they see results. But if they have done their due diligence before hiring the agency my suggestion to them is to trust that the PR agency has your best interests at heart and let them get on with their job.
The due diligence that I would recommend includes looking at campaigns the agency has conducted with a business in the same or similar industry to yours. Ask to see the results and talk to them in detail about how the campaign was conducted. I would seek information about the person who will be handling your account on a day-to-day basis. Most importantly, I would ask to speak to past clients who can give unbiased and honest feedback about the agency’s professionalism, customer service and results.
Once you have selected your preferred agency please trust them, wait at least three months before judging their performance, call them back if they need further information or approval for a release and don’t doubt their capabilities until you have reason too!
Are you a PR professional who can relate to my rantings? 0r are you someone who was nervous about hiring a PR agency initially but been delighted with the results? I’d love to hear about it.