At Harden, we have 10 rules to create strong client relationships, which is probably why our client engagements tend to last for many years. Results matter, but they are not the entire story by any means. As business partners, we go above and beyond to deliver excellent results and take our relationships equally seriously. Here are some of our agency’s rules for building relationships with our clients—approaches that have helped us thrive and survive the test of time.
1) We meet clients where they are. Clients come to us for PR help. Some are seasoned PR pros themselves who understand the process, and others are not. Our goal is to provide the level of explanation and support our clients need, so they understand the “why” behind the PR strategy and game plans as well as the “what” we are doing.
2) We are proactive as the communications experts. We take the burden of decision-making off the client as much as possible by making recommendations with the pros and cons laid out for our client’s consideration. We bring fresh ideas to the table and look for ways to raise the bar.
3) We learn about our client’s business results, customer acceptance, business relationships and more. Harden account leads regularly check in with clients to gain insight into the business, so we can be a strong, proactive partner. We are in tune with our client’s pain points and strive to address them and be part of the solution.
4) We practice empathy. We put ourselves in the shoes of our clients. We think about what we would want if we were sitting (or standing) at their desk. We learn how they want to report out to their team, and understand how busy our clients are and the pressures they face.
5) We are crisp and concise. Our goal is to communicate at the right level. We synthesize information, highlight key points, provide relevant color, raise questions, and avoid repetition. We spotlight successes and discuss what is necessary.
6) We seek feedback on our performance. We regularly check in on how things are going with team dynamics, results, new initiatives, etc. This kind of candid give-and-take allows us to learn and steadily increase our effectiveness.
7) We help clients package results. We help our clients promote the results of their PR investment. We also suggest ways they can leverage coverage in their internal and external communications, social media and digital platforms to expand reach and brand visibility.
8) We keep our clients in the know with relevant industry news and developments. We read our clients trade and business media and we share relevant articles s to keep clients apprised of the news, trends in the industry.
9) We bring new ideas to the table. Harden works hard to spot new opportunities for achieving business goals—whether with social, traditional or content media and marketing communications. and bring new ideas to the table. We are flexible and tap all channels to achieve results.
10) We are positive, upbeat and easy to do business with. Each of us strive to be someone our clients want to work with. We take pride in being good partners—and taking the opportunity to share experiences both inside and outside of the office.
By Cindi Goodsell, Director