How to be a good client

June 2016


We had such a positive response to our blog post on ‘how to be a good PR’ that we felt it warranted a follow up piece on what it takes to be a great client.

The truth is, that so much of our success as PRs depends on our relationships with our clients.

Delivery of truly great PR depends on a myriad of things but it starts with great clients who understand what they need and how to get the best from their agency. Sadly, there are many clients out there who think delivering truly great PR starts and finishes when they appoint an agency.

So here is a list - compiled by us here at Pead PR - of what it takes to work with your agency to deliver great results.

  • Number one on the list was unanimously communication. So much of our work is dependent on responding to very short media deadlines, so picking up the phone and responding to emails and calls is crucial. Make yourself available and ensure you have time dedicated to feedback on various points of the process.
  • Spend time on the brief. Poor briefing often means poor results. Rebriefing eats in to hours for the original project which leads to more $ required to actually execute the project. Sharing insights and giving clear and thorough briefs lead to ideas that are on point.
  • Have a clear and realistic idea of what success looks like.
  • Set a realistic budget and match your expectations to your spend. Whilst great things are sometimes possible with slim budgets, for the most part results are commensurate with spend.
  • Set realistic time frames. Great PR campaigns can take time and some sectors of the media work months in advance. Factor this into your plans.
  • Be prepared for a holistic response that covers all media types – owned, rented, paid and earned. Modern PR agencies are not just about delivering news coverage.
  • Listen to our advice. You have come to us for a reason so rewriting our work or disregarding our ideas will rarely generate better results.
  • Understand what PR is and what it isn’t. Our media relationships will take us only so far, there are no guarantees with PR, we can’t choose placement or ask for approval on editorial.
  • Give constructive feedback and discuss any concerns as soon as they arise.
  • Be flexible – sometimes projects evolve or opportunities arise at short notice.
  • Understand and respect the role of your agency. You pay us by the hour so use our time wisely.
  • Consider your agency your partner. Mutual respect produces the best results.
  • Relationships – get to know your agency on a personal level. It is always easier to have those difficult conversations if you have a friendship.
  • Debrief at the end of a project; reflect on what went well and what was challenging.
  • Being courteous – generating great coverage for you is hard work so when we pull off something great it’s nice to be thanked.