Do you know those agency-client relationships that make you light up when you talk about them? Those in which you have a good rapport and trust one another and look forward to your regularly scheduled calls or meetings? I have been fortunate to have several deep, meaningful client relationships during my time at Bloom. One client jokingly referred to our time together as therapy. Several have added me to their personal holiday card mailing lists. Another traveled across the globe to prioritize face-to-face time. Oui-oui.
We talk about our agency values a lot at Bloom. They are our guiding principles and at the heart of what we do. One of our core values is believing in a true partnership between agency and client. That doesn’t mean your agency contact needs to be your BFF (or therapist)—or that you need to hop a transcontinental aircraft for some quality time together, but it does command mutual respect and a shared vision of success.
At Bloom, we work collaboratively with our clients to ensure we maximize results and meet mutually agreed upon goals and Key Performance Indicators. Some clients make this easier than others. So, what does it mean to be a good client? We’ve outlined some simple, yet effective ways to ensure you are treating your agency as a true partner, resulting in a win-win situation.
Engage and respond.
We are here to make your job easier, not harder; however, no one knows your business or organization quite as you do. We will have questions. We will need your input to help stories come to life. We may ask you to provide spokespeople for media opportunities or supportive imagery for social media posts. We may even ask you to grant us access to your social media accounts or Google Analytics. We will request your honest and actionable feedback on our work and deliverables. At the end of the day, there will be some reliance on you, as the client, to help us help you. The more quickly you turn around requests, the more successful we will be and the faster you’ll see results.
Be respectful of our time.
NEWS FLASH: Agencies charge by the hour. If you’re not able to make a meeting or you’re going to show up more than 5 minutes late to a call, please let us know. Playing with Zoom filters while staring at ourselves on camera is fun for a short while, but it’s also time we could be putting toward strategic planning or tactical execution—both of which are wiser investments of your precious dollars. We simply ask for the same level of courtesy you’d give your hairdresser or personal trainer…though the Zoom bandit filter gets me every time.
To serve as a valuable extension of your team, we need unfiltered insight into your perceived challenges and opportunities. We ask that our clients willingly share knowledge and experiential learnings. If you’ve done previous research, we want to see the data. If you have unique insight into your customers, donors, or competitors, it will only serve to strengthen our understanding of your business and enable us to better communicate your brand value to media and target audiences. It will also help us determine if there are any potential crisis scenarios around which we should plan and message. At the end of the day, we want open and honest communication so we have a clear understanding of how we can provide the most value to your organization and share your brand story with confidence.
With any success, we are going to push you outside of your comfort zone. We will recommend different communications channels to reach target audiences. We will ask if you have a crisis communications plan in place and if you’re prepared to respond should your company be threatened or at-risk. We will uncover operational inefficiencies that are prohibitive to reaching your communications, and ultimately, business goals. We will suggest you be more active on LinkedIn to uplevel thought leadership. Remember, you hired us for our experience and expertise, so please give thoughtful consideration to an idea because it might be the one thing that makes all the difference.
We pride ourselves on bringing forth actionable ideas that are not only feasible and aligned to your business goals but are uniquely designed with your organization in mind. Having said that, please challenge us to explain the why behind our recommendations. Question the process and how it benefits your company. When you land your dream headline, ask what’s next. If we’re talking in industry-speak, tell us you don’t understand. Part of our role as consultants is to educate our clients on the value of PR and marketing and demonstrate how an agency partnership can uplevel, streamline, personalize, and professionalize your communications efforts.
We feel so very privileged that our clients trust us to help grow their businesses through catered, out-of-the-box communications strategies and tactics. We bend over backward to ensure results (or as we have internally coined, we are “politely persistent”). We believe our clients strive to be good partners but a few pointers never hurt.
Interested in learning more? Drop us a note.