The client-agency relationship is similar to the relationships we build with the media. It’s built upon trust, communication, and transparency. The team at Commonwealth PR strives to be an extension of our clients and we work hard to not just work towards our communication goals, but overall company or organization goals.
However, sometimes our job is challenged when employees go rogue with media outreach. In some instances, even the marketing department — our direct contact within the client — doesn’t even know it is happening.
Sometimes media interviews end with a placement, which is typically a win for everyone. But, these placements can leave out strategic mentions of the client’s name, goals, key messages and core services. The reporter gets the information they needed to shape a well-rounded story, but doesn’t mention the client who made it happen. When we are working with a reporter on a story, we help them understand the key relationship our client has with the overall news angle to ensure our client is directly mentioned and gain the publicity they hope to achieve.
In other instances, a department or employee is actively pitching a local journalist. We pride ourselves in our close relationships with our media contacts and most of these contacts depend on our team to provide the details on news about a specific client or industry. When employees are going rogue it can cause confusion. Or, the journalist may be pitched the same topic twice, causing frustration.
Finally, we create strategic communication and public relations plans for each client. We are the experts in our industry and research the stories, outlets, and angles to determine the best strategic direction for the client’s goals and objectives. If clients are going rogue, our plans can go awry.
When a client goes rogue, we get back to the basics. Education and communication as to why we need to be looped in for all public relations tactics is key. Typically, a quick meeting to remind each member of a client’s team that we are here day or night to help solves the problem.
By Frazier Fulton, director of client services