Working in partnership

When clients stop making you tea

02/03/2021 12:54:59
Make your own teaArriving at a client’s office for a meeting recently, we were greeted with: “Help yourself to a cuppa, you know where the kitchen is."
‘Well, that’s just charming. Whatever happened to looking after your visitors’, we might have harrumphed to ourselves, as we went to put the kettle on. But we didn’t. The truth is, we took it as a compliment.
One of the ways we measure our success is the degree to which clients see us as part of their team. And what better way of knowing you’ve achieved that than a client feeling they don’t have to stand on ceremony with you? Or when you have a desk at their office? By the time you’re taking your turn on the lunch run, you know you’ve arrived.
But other than a warm glow and plenty of tea, what can you expect when your communications agency is a genuine part of your team? And how do you achieve it?
The fact is, you will enjoy far better results when you treat your agency as one of the gang. If you keep them at arm’s length, only telling them what you think they need to know when you think they need to know it, they will often miss out on key information. This in turn means the ideas they come up with won’t be as sharp or as relevant as they could be. Whereas if they’re armed with the full picture, in good time, you’d be amazed at what your agency can achieve.

Here’s our wish list for the perfect client-agency partnership:

Let us in - We know we will be most effective when you ‘let us in’. By that, we mean involving us in business strategy and sharing your long term plans and vision with us, as well as short term priorities. If we don’t have the full picture, understand exactly where your organisation is heading and what exactly you want to achieve, how can we help you achieve it? And we don’t just mean as a one-off. We know how quickly things change in business. Being in on those discussions, or at least being given the key information on a regular basis, means we will be best placed to advise you on activities that will deliver the results you need.
Tell us everything – And we mean everything. There’s no such thing as too much information, but there is definitely an issue when we don’t have enough. Give us the ‘warts and all’ version of events, safe in the knowledge that the information you share will be treated in confidence and used only to help us shape relevant strategies and tactics. Without that information, we might end up putting out a story or blog one month that could come back and bite you the next.
Let us know when things aren’t going well, too - Telling us that you are facing challenges isn’t an admission of failure. It’s an opportunity for us to identify the communications support that will help you navigate those challenges and minimise the negative impact on your organisation or, alternatively, turn them into opportunities.
Help us close the loop – We know that, in many industries, it can be difficult to directly attribute specific sales opportunities to individual marketing or PR activities. We’re as keen as you are to monitor and measure effectiveness, and putting monitoring and tracking mechanisms in place that provide as much insight as possible into engagement, customer journeys, enquiries and conversions will significantly help measure ROI. Part of every marketing meeting should include reviewing the previous month to look at how, where and when people are engaging with you; whether they are the right people and the specific content or activities they are engaging with. All of this will help shape future strategy.

Clients who work with us in this way reap the rewards that a genuine partnership approach delivers. So don’t be surprised, once we get to know you, if you see us smile when you invite us to make ourselves at home. We’ll be very happy to know that we’ve arrived.

Contact us today