Working at Active PR I have come across a number of different clients some easy to handle and others, well, not so much. It is a rule of thumb with everyone in the A-Team that no matter what – we always try and look at the positive in any and every situation – so when I have to deal with a client that can be a little ‘tricky’ to handle I ensure that I have the below 3 points in order –
Right from the outset – as soon as I am given a client to handle I do my research. I learn as much about the client that I can. The reason for this is simple – I am their Public Relations Consultant – how can I consult them if I do not know what they do. So I become like a sponge – I absorb as much about them as I can, I research, read through recent articles, get up to speed on pending activations, launches, goals, past successes and failures in addition to learning the basics, such as preferred reporting structure and fundamental tools.
I know that a lot of PR professionals are probably reading this and saying – ‘yea, easier said than done.’ That is why it is important to keep in mind that education is a two way street. The client I am dealing with needs to be able, willing and completely forthcoming with the information that we need as their PR Agency in order for us to guarantee success. We need to open a transparent dialogue where we can sit together as a team and sift through all the required information as well as get any questions we may have answered. The easiest way to do this is to make sure we set and keep regular meetings so communication remains continuous.
Communication, communication, communication!!! In order to ensure that our Client is able to gain as much from us it is important that we portray to them the importance of designating the correct person from their side, someone who will be able to provide the Agency with the information they require.
The regular contact needs to be someone who:
Can convey information and answer questions the Agency requires
- Can work closely with the Agency and ensure correct key messaging is being conveyed
Has the power to make important, last minute decisions
At the same time – we ensure that the team working on this particular client has the correct background and work ethics, a team that will ask the right questions to the right person at the right time.
Without these people in place, Client and Agency constantly find themselves in a stalled position, waiting for the contact to ask the right person or check in on what’s happening, resulting, in a lot of cases, in key opportunities being missed!
For good PR continuity is golden. As consultants we are constantly telling our clients that in order for us to attain maximum exposure we need them to help us get there. We need them to communicate their business strategies, objectives and goals with us in order for us to tell them what the best way to go about achieving them is. As long as there is an open communication stream between us and our clients we can always ensure that that we are aiding our Client’s in portraying the correct messages to their key audiences.
At the end of the day, it is simple, in order to sustain and maintain a Client/Agency relationship, like any other kind of relationship, it requires communication and a willingness to work at it. Open, transparent dialogue limits the amount of possible misunderstandings, clearing the way for concise and precise brand messaging.
Being the social media manager at Active PR, I hear a lot of misconceptions about Twitter and I feel the need to set the record straight.
A good friend of mine, Wikipedia, explains;
Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”.
Right. Sounds pretty clear – short messages of up to 140 characters. Yet, so many questions to ask!
The following are a selection of questions or remarks that I hear on a daily basis:
“So how does a Tweeter work really?”
“Why do I need to Tweet every day?”
“What is a hashtag?”
“I hate Twitter because; I’m not keen on sharing that I’m in the restroom with the rest of the world…”
Now settle down, don’t panic. The very reason why Twitter’s become so popular is because it’s so easy and user friendly. So please, sit back and relax as I advise you to do the following;
- Get yourself a Twitter account (Don’t call it a “Twatter”, nor “Tweeter”)
- Follow people/news outlets/companies that tweet about your fields of interest: Twitter is basically a gold mine to fantastic content
- Get familiar with the Twitter-sphere, learn how to speak the lingo and throw yourself into the dark jungle of twitter-birds (Did I just say that? Yes I did)
As an overly talkative kid, my parents advised me to always choose my words wisely. The same goes for Twitter. You’ve got to bring something new to the table, it’s quality over quantity.
For some reason, people go nuts over hash tags. A #hash tag is used to add context to your ‘Tweet’, this way your tweet ends up as a search item in more than just your followers’ timelines. Don’t go crazy on the hash tags though, only key words. Keep in mind, #TanningAtTheBeachCauseItsSaturday is not the way to go – keep it simple.
If you want to be taken seriously on Twitter, don’t share awkward pics of your night out with work nor share things that should be kept private (opt to have a closed twitter account instead).
My final words of wisdom to you, have fun and interact with the accounts you’re interested in and want to be associated with. #TweetOut.
Having arrived to Dubai about three weeks ago, that newbie feeling is still fresh for me. It usually takes me a few months to adapt to a new place, just like it would for most people. However, Dubai isn’t like any other place, Dubai is somewhat special.
First of all, having over 90% of the population be expats, turns this place into a big giant mix of cultures spread about. Never did I think I would find Gruyere cheese from my home country of Switzerland, or English tea biscuits in the supermarket; but there they were, along with the other thirty thousand products from around the world. Being able to find those foods and brands that I was accustomed to in a place where I’m not, makes the adapting process much easier.
Then, comes the weather situation. Arriving from Switzerland, I was very careful to leave all my winter clothes behind and was prepared for the crazy 40 degrees of summer that I was getting myself into. However, little did I know that I would be missing my winter clothes so badly, so soon. With the Air Conditioning temperatures in Dubai, it’s like I never left Switzerland.
Finally, when moving to a new place, it’s the people that surround you which will make it easier or harder to adapt. I might have gotten lucky with this one because the team at Active PR has been as I like to say…the best! It’s so relieving to arrive somewhere new and have a really great group of people welcoming you and supporting you since day 1.
Final verdict: Dubai is the place to be!
Sure, you’ve heard this many times: the importance of teamwork and what a high esteemed place it holds in any working environment. But while in some work places it is merely a recommendation to ensure employees aren’t at each other’s throats or a word on paper to prove that procedures and policies are respected, at Active PR it is a core value that everybody shares from the minute we step foot in the office.
Whether it is helping out with a press distribution, giving a second opinion on an editorial, sharing the burdens of the monthly reporting or even stepping in on client meetings and calls, we never shy away from giving a helping hand to colleagues. Of course, team work is a prerequisite in PR and without the combined efforts of each and every single member of the A-team, business as usual would not be so smooth. This became all the more obvious in a recent project pitch that we initially attempted to approach individually, each working on their own part and trying to put everything together at the end, only to find out the pieces weren’t really fitting. However, after we sat down as a team and discussed the project as a whole, all the work fell into place. Point proven, again.
In my three months with the Active PR team we’ve had to say goodbye to some members, while at the same time welcoming new faces and one of the things that glues us together is the team spirit that floats through the office. We all have strong individual characters and we make sure nobody goes unnoticed. But, at the end of the day, we all breathe, work, eat, laugh, cry, celebrate and have fun together. Because when we share our workloads, worries, successes, plans, music, fashion pet peeves, chocolates and coffees it all makes more sense.
Now who’s going to share some candy today?!